Fact Check

Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Killed in Kuwait?

A disturbing set of images purportedly shows a pile of dead bomb-sniffing dogs that were put down after their contract with a security company was cancelled.

Published June 23, 2016

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Photographs shows dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs killed by a security company in Kuwait.
What's True

A series of photographs show dozens of dead dogs that were killed in Kuwait.

What's Undetermined

The reason why the dogs were killed and who was ultimately responsible for their deaths is unknown.

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 dogs

There 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, and 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 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.

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. “The 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.

The dog training company USK9 Unlimited also commented on the incident, releasing 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:


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.


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.

Eastern Securities confirmed that 24 dogs had been killed but denied they were responsible fpr the canine deaths. In an e-mailed statement, the company claimed that the dogs had been killed by a rival company in an act of "sabotage":

On June 17, 2016, Eastern Securities, one of the premier private contactors providing K-9 security in Kuwait and other Middle East countries, found out, via a social media post, that 24 of its dogs had been killed.  In what is developing into a case of corporate sabotage, a veterinarian technician, who worked for the agency where Eastern Securities leases its kennels, went to the kennels in the middle of the night, euthanized 24 dogs, photographed and sent pictures to a competitor of Eastern Securities, that have been since been leaked on the internet.  Eastern Securities immediately launched an investigation and during the interrogation of both the veterinarian technician and the K-9 manager, an admission was made that Eastern Securities had nothing to do with the killing of the dogs.  Criminal charges were filed against this depraved killer, who put down the dogs and an investigation continues to ascertain and bring to justice the names of additional culprits that helped commit this heinous crime.

“Eastern Securities has spent years building a reputation as one of the best providers of K-9 security in the Middle East.  It is the reason government agencies and top corporations trust us.  Taking care of our animals has always been and will always be one of our top priorities.  To be targeted by our competitors in such a vile and ruthless manner is a despicable display of greed.  We are asking that this case be prosecuted to the fullest extent and are working with the Kuwaiti government to ensure those responsible are held accountable and something this horrific never happens again.  We will not stop until all those involved are brought to justice,” said Bill Baisey, CEO of Eastern Solutions Group, the parent company of Eastern Securities.

Facts to Know:

A veterinarian technician, who worked for the kennels where Eastern Securities leased space, went to kennels at 3:00am on June 17, 2016 and killed 24 dogs.

Pictures of the dogs being killed were sent to competitors of Eastern Securities.

The technician immediately admitted his premeditation and commission of his crime and specifically confirmed the absence of any involvement or wrongdoing by Eastern Securities.

The case continues to be under investigation by the Kuwaiti government and criminal charges against the technician were filed.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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