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Sen. Warner presses State Department's plan for protecting bomb-sniffing dogs sent to partner countries

At least 10 dogs trained to assist in fighting terrorism died in the Kingdom of Jordan

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mark Warner on Tuesday wrote to the U.S. Department of State to follow up on an Inspector General (IG) report that found the Department sent highly-trained bomb-sniffing dogs to foreign partner nations without proper follow-up to ensure they were receiving adequate healthcare.

The Inspector General found that as a result, at least 10 dogs trained to assist in fighting terrorism died in the Kingdom of Jordan from various medical problems, including largely preventable illnesses such as parvovirus and heat exhaustion.

Many of the dogs were trained at a State Department-contracted facility located in Winchester, Va.

View the full Inspector General report:

“The IG report outlined a series of problems in the program, which led to the premature deaths of many dogs due to preventable illness, lack of veterinary care, and poor working conditions. Overall, the report makes clear the Department of State is not adequately monitoring and protecting the canines it provides to these countries,” wrote Sen. Warner

Senator Warner is also a dog owner. 

The IG report found several deficiencies in the program, including:

  • The Bureau of Counterterrorism and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security “do not have mechanisms in place to ensure effective management of the health and welfare of canines in the EDC program” including an absence of policies, procedures, written standards for the department, or written agreements with partner nations to ensure the dogs’ health and safety.
  • The Department does not sufficiently monitor the trained canines that are provided to partner nations, including through follow-up visits and agreements that outline standards.
  • The treatment and care of the dogs in Jordan, where the majority of the dogs are sent, is of particular concern. Despite longstanding concern over the treatment and care of the dogs in Jordan’s care, at least 100 EDCs have been sent to Jordan since 2008. From 2008 through 2016, at least ten dogs died as a result of medical conditions.

View the letter Sen. Warner wrote to the U.S. Department of State:

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