In what the Kuwait Animal Rescue Unit called a “horrifying animal massacre,” 24 bomb-sniffing civilian working dogs (CWDs) were euthanized June 17 by an American-owned company in Kuwait.
Why were these two dozen, highly trained CWDs killed? Depending on various sources, it was either because they were sick, because a contract was cancelled — or out of revenge.
An unidentified Eastern Securities employee told the Arab Times the dogs were old and sickly.
“The company had taken steps to euthanize small groups of dogs over a period of time, but a member of our kennel staff jumped the gun and euthanized them all at once,” the employee said. He said the employee who killed the dogs has been terminated.
But according to a former employee on the Eastern Securities of Kuwait and Bill Baisey – The Truth Facebook page, the dogs were killed after the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), which was paying Eastern Securities about $9,900 per month for each dog to detect explosives at its oil-drilling sites, cancelled its contract. The contract was terminated, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports, because the dogs failed to pass explosives detection tests.
Furij Al Furaij, a KNPC employee who is the advisor for Eastern Securities’ contracts, concurred with this former employee. He told WLBT’s Mike Evans he was informed by an Eastern Securities employee that the dogs were killed because the contract was terminated. (KNPC released a statement saying it had no involvement in the slaughter, according to KUNA.)
Since veterinary care and cleaning supplies weren’t covered in the KNPC contract, Eastern Securities was responsible for providing them for the dogs – and often failed to do so, according to Amy Swope, an American who worked for the company from July to November in 2014.
“Over time, healthy, certifiable dogs became unhealthy, and unhealthy dogs don’t work,” she told me. “That is why I was not surprised the company eventually lost the contract. Once they lost the contract, there was no money coming in to pay for kennel cleaners, walking or bathing dogs, food, basic vet care, etc.”
Swope believes that to cut expenses, the company euthanized the dogs it didn’t think would certify, while trying to obtain a new contract or sell the remaining dogs.
Eastern Securities a ‘Terrible, Terrible’ Company
Baisley, who denies any involvement in the massacre and told the New York Post it was the result of a “conspiracy” against Eastern Securities, has a history of court actions for failing to pay bills and alleged fraud in Kuwait and Iraq. This is why US K9 Unlimited, a Louisiana-based facility that trains bomb-sniffing dogs, stopped doing business with Eastern Securities several years ago.
Roger Abshire, CEO of US K9 Unlimited, told the New York Post he thought Eastern Securities was a “terrible, terrible” company.
If the dogs were killed because of the loss of the contract, Abshire stated that his company’s position “shall be one of absolute condemnation of such a gross and vile act against defenseless animals. … To see these type pictures simply makes all of us here sick to our stomachs.”
There’s another possibility of why the dogs were killed, and if it’s true, it’s reprehensible.
Esmail Al Misri, a Kuwaiti lawyer, and local animal activist Mimi Mamoun believe the dogs may have been killed out of revenge. Mamoun told the Kuwait Times that a friend who handles the dogs at Eastern Securities said they were not killed because they were sick, but to punish 29 handlers who filed complaints with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor because they haven’t received a paycheck from Eastern Securities since April.
Al Misri has asked the local police to investigate the killings and press criminal charges against the company.
Saving the 90 Dogs Remaining at Eastern Securities
Swope and others are concerned about the 90 bomb-sniffing dogs that remain with Eastern Securities, and don’t want them to suffer a similar fate.
You can help by signing and sharing Swope’s petition asking for the U.S. Embassy to step in and save these dogs.
“Signing the petition, getting media attention and putting pressure on our government and the Kuwaiti government seem to be the best approach to getting results,” Swope said.
Photo credit: YouTube