WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government will do more to protect the health and safety of bomb-detection dogs sent overseas following the deaths of several of them in Jordan and Egypt, according to a State Department Office of Inspector General report released Friday.
Two State Department agencies agreed to stop sending the sniffer dogs to the two countries until they have plans in place to ensure that the U.S.-trained dogs are taken care of and monitored to ensure their well-being, according to the OIG report.
The Bureau of Counter-terrorism and Bureau of Diplomatic Security told the State Department’s internal watchdog that that they are providing additional equipment and training to host country handlers and veterinarians.
The State Department has sent more than 200 dogs to various countries overseas to help prevent terrorism over the past two years.
An OIG report in September raised concerns about Jordan and found â€œongoing health and welfare concerns among dogs deployed to Jordan,” which is the largest recipient of the dogs. The report released Friday was an update issued after investigators learned of continuing problems and additional deaths.
It found several dogs died or had to be euthanized over the past 18 months, including at least two from heat stroke, one from a preventable parasite and a fourth from a pesticide sprayed in or near its kennel. The report said Jordan has agreed to stop using that pesticide around the kennels.
In Egypt, the report said at least three dogs died, including one from heat stroke, and that officials there refused to allow State Department personnel to visit the kennels or the airport where the dogs work.