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The lives of the two hero Army dogs who served in Afghanistan and were due to be put down next week "have been saved", according to reports.
The futures of Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz "will be safe", said Sky News' defence correspondent, Alistair Bunkall, yesterday afternoon in news we all wanted to hear.
Kev and Dazz worked with troops in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and retired four years ago, but they were going to be put down next week if they could not be found a new home. The pair would have faced lethal injections.
Credit: British Army
However, Bunkall has now said that the pair will not suffer the brutal end to their lives after Defence Minister Gavin Williamson yesterday "gave assurances to the dog handlers this morning" that the dogs would be spared. Nice one, Gav.
"Death Row Dogs: Gavin Williamson had the army dog handlers into the MOD this morning for a meeting on this," Bunkall tweeted.
"Breaking Death Row Dog news: I'm hearing the dogs' future will be safe. Believe Gavin Williamson gave assurances to the dog handlers this morning."
Breaking Death Row Dog news: I'm hearing the dogs' future will be safe. Believe Gavin Williamson gave assurances to the dog handlers this morning.
- Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) 4 December 2017
The decision to euthanise the two army dogs led to people from all parts of the community understandably kicking off, with former soldiers and handlers, members of the public and celebrities calling for the decision to be reversed.
Ex-British Army soldiers and handlers wrote to the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, where the dogs have been working with trainees since they retired from duty, to call for the animals to be spared.
The campaign to stop the two dogs, along with a police dog called Driver, from being put down captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of people after former special air sergeant Andy McNab (Mr Bravo Two Zero) launched a petition. Over 360,000 people have signed the petition so far.
Celebrities who have shared the animals' plight over social media include The X Factor host Simon Cowell, Ricky Gervais, The Only Way Is Essex star Pete Wicks and the actress Kate Mara.
Credit: British Army
"Dogs like Kevin, Dazz and Driver are an asset when they are serving but they are even more of an asset when they are retired," reads McNab's petition. "We owe them every chance possible to be housed and not killed."
McNab gave a shout out to service dogs like Dazz and Kevin for saving "countless lives when I was in the Special Air Service sniffing out explosives". He also said they had an amazing ability to find IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that soldiers can't.
Last week, a Ministry of Defence spokesman 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."
The MOD has not yet commented on the decision to spare the dogs.
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