League Takes In 20 Dogs from Kuwait

April 28, 2010

(April 27, 2010) Washington, DC – The Washington Animal Rescue League is providing shelter and veterinary care for 20 dogs being transferred from Kuwait.  They were living in that country’s only animal shelter when it burned on March 24.  Six dogs have already arrived in pairs as transport could be booked—flights from Kuwait to Washington go through Europe and have been held up by the volcano—but the largest shipment of 10 dogs is scheduled to land at Dulles International Airport at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.  Employees of the League will meet the dogs there.

The transfer was arranged with the help of Humane Society International, the international wing of the Humane Society of the US.  Animal Friends of Kuwait contacted them seeking help placing 20 dogs who were living in outdoor pens while the shelter is being rebuilt.  Soaring temperatures in the Arabian desert were making living outdoors dangerous for the dogs.

Forty animals—31 cats and 9 dogs—perished in the fire, which was caused by an electrical surge.  Sixty dogs survived.  Forty of these were placed in Kuwaiti foster homes, but no homes could be found for the remaining twenty, all of whom will eventually make it to the League.


“This is not our first international rescue,” notes Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO. “We’ve saved dogs from Canada on two occasions in the past.  But these dogs have traveled farther than any others to get here.  We are glad to offer these refugees from the other side of the world the services of our Medical Center, behavior and training department, and uniquely designed shelter.  And we’ll find them the great homes they need and deserve.”

Most of the dogs are mixed-breed of the sort that one would expect to find at any American shelter (there’s even a mixed husky), but eight of them are “desert dogs,” according to the Kuwaiti shelter.  The Kuwaiti desert dog is an indigenous, naturally occurring breed that comprises most of the population of stray dogs there.  They are medium-sized dogs with short coats and large ears.

The League estimates that the first of the dogs may become available for adoption as early as this weekend.

To see an album of some of the dogs the League took in from Kuwait, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/warl/sets/72157623950438544/.

The Washington Animal Rescue League is the oldest animal shelter in the District of Columbia and has a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home animals who have nowhere else to go.  Its facility is painstakingly designed from the animals’ point of view to make it one of the most humane animal shelters in the world.  The full-service Medical Center serves the companion animals of low-income area residents, as well as shelter animals. The League is located at 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW, Washington, DC.

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