Rumors surfaced over the last week that dozens of U.S. military dogs had been left behind in Afghanistan. But the Pentagon said the abandoned dogs were not U.S. military animals, according to The Washington Post.
The Department of Defense also denied the reports of dogs left behind by the U.S. military.
“Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the #KabulSmallAnimalRescue not dogs under the care of the U.S. military,” the department said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department confirmed that all working dogs were evacuated from Afghanistan.
“None were left behind,” a spokesperson for the State Department said.
Questions about dogs being left behind emerged over the last few weeks after photos surfaced online that showed dozens of dogs in crates after they were allegedly left behind. Social media members blamed the U.S. military for leaving the dogs behind. Conservative lawmakers and commentators shared photos of the dogs on social media and criticized the Biden administration.
Groups have worked to rescue whatever dogs were still in Afghanistan. Joshua Hosler, president of Veteran Sheepdogs of America, said it has been working to bring dogs out of Kabul, according to Fox News.
When the photos surfaced, American Humane President and CEO Robin Ganzert slammed the Biden administration for allowing the U.S. military to allegedly leave the dogs behind.
“I am devastated by reports that the American government is pulling out of Kabul and leaving behind brave U.S. military contract working dogs to be tortured and killed at the hand of our enemies,” Ganzert said in a statement.
“These brave dogs do the same dangerous, lifesaving work as our military working dogs, and deserved a far better fate than the one to which they have been condemned,” Ganzert wrote.
“This senseless fate is made all the more tragic, as American Humane stands ready to not only help transport these contract K-9 soldiers to U.S. soil but also to provide for their lifetime medical care,” Ganzert continued.
According to The Washington Post, it’s not clear why the dogs were left behind or who owned the dogs. The condition of these dogs remains unknown.