The United States Department of Defense has refuted accusations that the American military abandoned dozens of military service dogs in Kabul prior to the last pullout from Afghanistan.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted that "to correct erroneous reports, the US military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs. The photos circulating online were of animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care,".
According to a spokesperson for the Defense Department, despite a continued difficult and dangerous retrograde mission, US personnel went to tremendous measures to help the Kabul Small Animal Rescue as much as they could.
Since 2020, Kabul Small Animal Rescue has been affiliated with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a "veterinary clinic and non-profit organisation that has been aiding animals in Afghanistan."
The organisation "is dedicated to providing secure, healthy boarding options for their rescue partners, who support worldwide adoptions of Afghan cats and dogs," according to its website.
They provide high-quality medical care to owned dogs as well as veterinary care, boarding, and adoption choices for injured or orphaned street animals through their veterinary clinic.
The photos of the imprisoned dogs had already sparked outrage on social media. The US government has been chastised by animal rights group "American Humane" for abandoning military contract working dogs in Kabul. The US decision was heavily panned on social media since the K-9 soldiers were left behind.
(With inputs from agencies)