Well, yes, but also no. Let me explain.
So last night this tweet rolled by my timeline, and I was instantly heartbroken.
The dogs are trained military working dogs who were in the hands of government contractors – so not active military dogs. They were turned over to Kabul Small Animal Rescue by their contractor handlers when the contractors were not allowed to bring them on their flights. Veteran Sheepdogs of America has been working with KSAR to get all the animals out, but their main focus has always been the 51 working dogs.
Things got worse when the word got out that Charlotte of Kabul Animal Small Rescue was told that her 140 dogs would NOT be allowed on a flight, and she was forced to choose, put down the puppy in her arms and get on the plane, or take her chances in country. She was already heartbroken over leaving her people behind, so she choose to stay with the puppy. Her 140 dogs were released on the tarmac, and the last flight out took off. American Humane released a statement:
“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. 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.https://www.americanhumane.org/press-release/american-humane-condemns-death-sentence-delivered-to-contract-working-dogs-left-behind-in-kabul-afghanistan/
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.
American Humane has worked hand in hand with the military for more than 100 years to rescue military animals. In fact, our famed rescue program began on the bloody battlefields of WWI Europe, at the request of the U.S. Secretary of War. Since that time, American Humane served as a pioneer in the development of animal therapy for returning veterans, and today brings home retired military working dogs and pairs veterans with life-saving service dogs.
As the country’s first national humane organization and largest certifier of animal welfare in the world, it sickens us to sit idly by and watch these brave dogs who valiantly served our country be put to death or worse.
In order to prevent this tragedy from occurring, these K-9’s should be loaded into whatever cargo space remains and flown to safety.
Irrespective of the outcome, this gross oversight of justice must be stopped from happening again, as it did in Vietnam too. To that end, we call on Congress to take action to classify contract working dogs on the same level as military working dogs. Failure to do anything less, is a failure of humanity and a condemnation of us all.”
Since then there has been some confusion about the fate of the now 51 military working dogs Veteran Sheepdogs of America claimed to still have them, and that they were furiously arranging funds. But then everything went radio silent for hours, and people were very confused. Were these military dogs, left behind? Were they rescue dogs? Had they been turned loose? Information surrounding these animals was very confusing.
This morning, Josh Hosler, CEO of VSA, said the dogs were still in VSA control, being cared for by people on the ground and they were hoping to have them loaded on a plane and wheels up by Wednesday morning.
So ok…. sounds like things are going well. But then, rumors start spreading that VSA is a bogus group and doesn’t have permission to do any of this, blah blah. Even Greta Van Sustren said they were a scam. Videos of german shepards wandering the Kabul airport surfaced on twitter, and people started to doubt. So VSA has been forced to answer some questions, while pleading that they can not answer many questions for the safety of the animals, many of whom are bomb-sniffers, because leaving them behind is widely seen as a death sentence.
So that’s where things stand for now. If I find any new information, I’ll edit this post and add it.
UPDATE: 6pm Est: According to the New York Post, it was a CDC guideline that made it impossible for KSAR to bring their animals out of Afghanistan.
The SPCAI said a new policy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suspended the transport of dogs from Afghanistan and more than 100 other countries “was another terrible impediment, despite our negotiations and pleadings.”https://nypost.com/2021/08/31/kabul-animal-rescue-tried-to-save-pets-who-couldnt-get-out-of-afghanistan/
“We applied for an Emergency Exemption so that Charlotte and the dogs could get out on our chartered flight this week. But the CDC’s adherence to its import policy during this time of crisis put animals and people at risk,” SPCAI wrote.
Because so many people have grown concerned about the possibility of VSA being a scam, a press release claiming to be from KSAR was put out on twitter by an account run by Lisa Brooks. No idea how this person is connected to KSAR or where they got the press release from, but the Lisa Brooks account has been very active the last week or so, trying to help KSAR get out of Afghanistan.
And of course, Josh from VSA is pointing people to the press release to verify he is actively working with KSAR.
Update 2: 10p est: To complicate matters more, It is now being alleged by people who say they are in contact with Charlotte from KSAM that VSA do NOT have the dogs, and have no right to be fundraising to get them out. One man, TheRealIrishLad on Instagram, claims to have dms, emails, and receipts to back it up. Based on what I’ve learned trolling through his Insta and Twitter – He seems to have been connected to KSAR through one of the orgs she was well known to be working for – The Puppy Rescue Mission. He was working with their ED, Michelle Smith. He says the dogs were part of GardaWorld, which is a security contractor who had been providing services to the US Embassy.
To add credibility to TheRealIrishLad’s posts, Glenn Beck has denied VSA’s earlier claims (in a now deleted tweet) that his Nazarene Fund pulled $600,000 of funding.
So, that seems to be the end of the story. It seems like these dogs are, in fact, the dogs seen in twitter videos wandering the airport after the military released them from their cages prior to kicking Charlotte to the curb (by her choice) and taking off on the last plane.
So that seems to be it. Maybe, by some small miracle things will change. Considering VSA promised to be wheels up with the animals by Wednesday morning, I guess we will know for sure in a few hours.
Regardless, as Twitchy reports, the SPCAI is holding out hope that Charlotte and her KSAR people will be able to get back into the airport and re-rescue the dogs as soon as tensions calm down.
Moving forward, KSAR’s primary objective is to return to the airport– when it is safe and with the hope of Taliban cooperation–to try and retrieve or re-rescue the animals who were released at the airport. The situation at the airport remains very unsafe, but KSAR is hopeful their staff will be allowed to return to the airport at some point to try to save their dogs. During her departure from the airport on August 30, Charlotte requested the U.S. Military open the bags of dog food she was able to bring into the airport and scatter their contents in the area where the dogs had been released.
UPDATE: 1:00PM EST: It’s over. VSA has been radio silent for over 14 hours, and then this tweet from a RT (Russia Today) Reporter on the ground in the Kabul Airport reports –