Fact Check: Did US Troops Leave Military Dogs Behind in Afghanistan?

As the last of the American troops left Kabul ending the two-decade-long war on August 30, many started questioning the whereabouts of military dogs deployed in the Taliban-controlled region. Internet users worldwide on Tuesday accused the US of leaving military dogs behind in Afghanistan as pictures of caged dogs went viral on social media.

According to the allegations, the US troops have left 51 contract working dogs behind in Kabul. However, the United States Department of Defense has refuted accusations that dozens of military service dogs were abandoned by the American military prior to the last pullout from the Taliban-controlled in Afghanistan. The US Defense said that the dogs in the viral photos were from the Kabul Small Animal Rescue Shelter and not of the US military.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby took to his official Twitter handle to announce that no military dogs were left behind and that those were false accusations. "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," Kirby tweeted.

Moreover, an animal welfare organization named Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR) launched a last-minute rescue operation to save the stranded dogs in Kabul. The photos of imprisoned dogs have sparked outrage on social media and the US government being chastised by several animal rights groups.

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Video Shows US Military Dogs Being Rescued But Many Claims

Meanwhile, a video showing US military dogs waiting to be evacuated from the Kabul airport was uploaded on Twitter. "US Military Dogs Were EVACUATED ON SUNDAY from #Afghanistan!!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!" the caption along the Twitter video post read. Many service dogs were being lined up to be rescued from Afghanistan.

However, many people still think that the military dogs are waiting to be rescued from Afghanistan. A Twitter thread filled with arguments over the matter has left many devastated. While Pentagon claims no dogs were left behind, some say despite Charlotte and her team waited for seven days at the Kabul airport to rescue the animals, they were denied passage.

"The DOD denied their request for the 3rd and last plane they had arranged for. Then the US military set all of their rescue dogs loose at the airport. You must be reading from nonsense sources," a Twitter user wrote.