Two army dogs that faced being put down because they were too aggressive to be re-homed have been saved, according to a politician.
Distraught dog handlers and ex-soldiers had vowed to give the two dogs, named Kevin and Dazz, “every chance possible to be housed and not killed.”
The Belgian Shepherds sniffed out lethal IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, while on duty in Afghanistan before being retired.
Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan tweeted that he was “thrilled to bits” that the retired army dogs Kevin and Dazz had been saved from being put down.
Thrilled to bits that army hero dogs Kevin and Dazz have been saved. Happy Christmas and happy retirement to them both https://t.co/R0raeKclQE
— Sir Alan Duncan MP (@AlanDuncanMP) December 4, 2017
The dogs are based at the Defence Animal Centre in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, which is located in the constituency that Sir Duncan represents.
The animal loving minister expressed his dismay over the decision to put down the canines in an earlier tweet that featured an image of his dog, with the caption, “Even my dog Noodle says ‘Save the army hero dogs!'”
Hero dogs who saved lives in Afghanistan due to be put down in Melton's Defence Animal Centre in my constituency, though there are experienced handlers willing to look after them. Even my dog Noodle says "Save the army hero dogs!" https://t.co/nClBsTVeNR pic.twitter.com/dNfwPmRSwh
— Sir Alan Duncan MP (@AlanDuncanMP) December 1, 2017
A third dog named Driver that worked with the police force could also be reprieved.
Defence Minister Gavin Williamson told The Sun that he will ensure the dogs have a “golden future.”
“I’ve instructed my department these dogs are to be saved. We’re talking with charities and looking at a programme as to whether they can be re-housed with a handler in a more normal environment.
“We’re going to ensure they have a golden future. We’ll do everything we can to look after animals that form such an important part of the military family.”
According to a tweet from from Alistair Bunkall from Sky News, the Defence Minister had the dog handlers in the Ministry of Defence for a meeting on Monday, Dec. 4.
A petition campaigning to halt the dogs being put down was launched by former SAS officer Andy McNab. It racked up over 367,000 signatures in a few days.
Service dogs have saved my life on numerous occasions. We have a duty to save them. Please sign this petition. https://t.co/ABOvA7VVr0
— Andy McNab (@The_Real_McNab) December 1, 2017
“Service dogs have saved my life on numerous occasions. We have a duty to save them,” he wrote on the page.
“In Afghanistan when I was on a patrol the dogs found an IED in front of us, I was number three in line, I was very, very lucky to survive.
“They also saved countless lives when I was in the Special Air Service sniffing out explosives.”
He added that the dogs are an asset when they are on duty, but even more of an asset when they are retired.
Hero army dogs who faced being put down saved 'at last minute' https://t.co/vb2MHTNM6L
— Evening Standard (@standardnews) December 5, 2017
“Wherever possible we endeavour to re-home military working dogs,” an Army spokesman previously said. “Sadly there are occasions where this is not possible.”
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