In June 2016, a series of photographs purportedly showing dozens of dead bomb-sniffing dogs circulated on social media, along with the claim that the animals were killed by Eastern Securities after their contract with the Kuwait National Petroleum Company was cancelled:

Eastern Securities or E Sec was awarded a contract with Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) to provide explosive detection dogs for their oil rigs. When KNPC canceled the contract with Eastern Securities, they were left with 140+ dogs that no longer had a job and were costing them money to feed and house them. Instead of being responsible with the working dogs and finding them homes, Eastern Securities chose the most cost-effective way of dealing with the unemployed working dogs, euthanasia. It is unknown at this time exactly how the dogs were killed or even if the remaining 90 are still alive.

The images were first posted by Missy Skye, the founder of My Cats And Dogs in Kuwait, a non-profit dedicated to helping stray animals. The images received wider attention when they were posted to the Instagram page of Kuwait Animal Rescue Unit on 19 June 2016. According to these social media posts, 24 dogs were killed in the 17 June incident:

kuwait dogsThere was an extremely sad and horrifying animal abuse/massacre incident at a security company based in Kuwait on June 17, 2016 in Kuwait. Due to their contract being revoked, they slaughtered 24 of their US K9 dogs whom were trained by USK9 dog training facility which is located in Louisiana, USA. This security company is an American company which worked with Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). KNPC paid 3000KD (equivalent of $9900)/month to the security company for each dog. Early this morning, a brave lawer, Esmail Al Misri, representing the workers from Nepal at the security company and an avid animal lover, advocate, and rescuer, Mimi Maamoun, went to file a complain at Mina Abdullha police station against the security company. The environment police and municipality registered the case. There are another 91 dogs remaining at the security company. While they abused the dogs by having them on duty for 24 hours without rest, their foreign workers would not dare to speak up and raise any issues with the company as they were also being mistreated and abused. At this point, we as animal lovers in kuwait, USA, and other countries, we need to advocate all the animals by spreading the news and be the voice for these poor animals. We must help save the remaining animals! PLEASE NO DONATION IS NEEDED from/to any individuals or organizations. I will keep you posted as soon as I obtain further information.

The reasons the dogs were killed and who is ultimately responsible for their deaths remains unclear. The Kuwait National Petroleum Company denied that they had anything to do with the killings; unconfirmed sources told the Kuwait Times that the animals had been put down for humane reasons. A local animal rights activist, Mimi Mamoun, disputed that account:

The Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) issued a statement yesterday denying any link with the reported €˜execution of sniffer dogs that were supposed to be used by the company according to deal with a local contractor. KNPC official spokesman Khaled Al-Asousi expressed regret in a statement to KUNA that the contractor put the animals to death.

Last week, reports on social media suggested that at least 24 dogs had been euthanatized due to the cancellation of a contract and unpaid salaries. Unconfirmed sources said that the animals were sick and had been put to death for humane reasons. But local animal rescuer and activist, Mimi Mamoun has disputed this account. €œThe dogs were not sick, only two, three I heard; in fact my Filipino friend who handles the dogs told me that the dogs were healthy and only a few of them were old but they killed them to punished the handlers who has filed complaints at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (shoun) for nonpayment of salaries,€ she said.

USK9 Unlimited also commented on the incident. The dog training company released a statement saying that they had not sold any dogs or trained any handlers for Eastern Security since 2009, and that they played no part in the recent mass euthanasia:

SK9 RESPONSE ABOUT THE KUWAIT INCIDENT:

There is a lot of confusion over a story about the alleged massacre of dogs by a Kuwaiti Security company “Eastern Security” (ES), in the country of Kuwait.

TO BE VERY CLEAR:

USK9 HAD NO PART OF SUCH AN INHUMANE ACT. If if this alleged massacre of dogs is validated, our position shall be one of absolute condemnation of such a gross and vile act against defenseless animals. At USK9, we are true animal lovers and have always believed and treated each and every dog as “man’s best friend”. To see these type pictures simply makes all of us here sick to our stomachs.

USK9 has NOT sold any dogs nor trained any handlers for “Eastern Security” since 2009. Since that time, many other dog suppliers/trainers have sold dogs to ES and we have no way of determining who those suppliers are. We are hopeful that an investigation into the matter will reveal and hold all parties responsible for this tragedy accountable to the fullest extent of the law in Kuwait.

USK9 is making every effort to monitor this story as it unfolds through a contact in Kuwait, but we have no way of validating information. We have made a firm demand that the authorities investigate this alleged incident and protect any animals that may be in danger if this incident is determined to be one of animal cruelty and abuse.

We have see some media publications in recent days that suggest that the incident is in fact being investigated and we remain hopeful that the remaining dogs will be protected and safe.

USK9 will defend itself vigorously against any story or social media postings that depict a false representation that USK9 was even the least bit involved in this alleged incident in Kuwait or is somehow responsible for the alleged incident.