'Hero' army dogs who faced being put down saved after 370,000 sign petition

'Fearless' Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz served in Afghanistan's Helmand Province and gave invaluable support to troops locating and clearing explosives

Tuesday 05 December 2017 11:36
Kevin with Lance Corporal Kelly Wolstencroft
Kevin with Lance Corporal Kelly Wolstencroft

Two "hero" retired army dogs who faced being put down because they could not be re-homed have been saved, a minister has said.

Sir Alan Duncan intervened to save Kevin and Dazz, reported to have served in Afghanistan by working with troops to locate explosives in Helmand Province.

The Belgian shepherds had been due to face lethal injections this week, but Sir Alan wrote to Ministry of Defence (MOD) ministerial colleagues to call for a reprieve.

On Monday night he said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that army hero dogs Kevin and Dazz have been saved. They can now enjoy a very happy and well deserved retirement."

The dogs are based at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire - in the constituency which Sir Alan represents.

The Foreign Office minister previously told how the "hero" dogs had "fought fearlessly alongside our soldiers".

He had said: "Let us now be the ones to fight for them and give them a chance to live happy lives where they can thrive. It is the least they deserve.

"Of course, it is of great importance that all military dogs are properly assessed before re-homing to ensure they do not pose a danger to civilians, but only in circumstances where such danger has been properly proven should they be put down."

A petition had been launched by former SAS soldier Andy McNab to stop the duo being put down, as well as a third canine, a former police dog named Driver.

He told the paper: "It's a brilliant success story and no less than these dogs deserve."

On the website hosting the petition - which gathered more than 370,000 signatures - he praised service dogs for saving "countless lives when I was in the Special Air Service sniffing out explosives".

"In Afghanistan when I was on a patrol the dogs found an IED in front of us, I was number three in line, I was very, very lucky to survive," he wrote.

The Sun reported Kevin and Dazz are both aged nine and retired from the frontline about four years ago and will be re-homed along with Driver.

An MOD spokesman previously said: "Wherever possible, we endeavour to re-home them (dogs) at the end of their service life.

"Sadly, there are some occasions where this is not possible."


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