WASHINGTON, DC — After several bomb-sniffing dogs died while in the service in Jordan and Egypt, the State Department says they will more closely monitor the program.
The Washington Post reports State Department officials are stepping in after an internal report showed that improper care and unsanitary living conditions contributed to the illness and death of some 200 bomb-sniffing dogs sent to foreign governments under a counter-terrorism program.
“Any death of a canine in the field is an extremely sad event, and we will take every measure possible to prevent this from happening in the future,” a State Department official told reporters, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The inspector general report uncovered at 10 percent of the dogs sent to Jordan between 2008 and 2016 died of among other causes, heatstroke, overwork, and disease. The kennels where the dogs resided were unsanitary, and the surviving dogs worked through diseases like hip dysplasia and arthritis.
The State Department vowed not to send any more dogs to either country until they are sure the dogs will be maintained under stricter standards, and will also be empowering U.S. embassies in Jordan and Egypt to be more involved in overseeing the program.