League Welcomes Nine More Dogs From Kuwait

July 28, 2010

Hot? Try 140 Degrees!

Washington Animal Rescue League Welcomes 9 Dogs From One of the World’s Hottest Places

(July 27, 2010) Washington, DC – The Washington Animal Rescue League is providing shelter, veterinary care, and adoption services to nine dogs evacuated from Kuwait, where summer daytime temperatures climb as high as 140 degrees.

The dogs, who were homeless and in the custody of Animal Friends League of Kuwait (AFLK), had no safe place to stay after that group’s shelter burned down in March. Re-construction efforts, though underway, have not been completed, and electrical power is sporadic, so that air conditioning—and even fans—in the greenhouses where the dogs were being housed temporarily was mostly of no use.

Earlier this year, in the weeks immediately after the shelter fire, the League took in 27 Kuwaiti dogs, whom AFLK flew to Dulles International Airport. They chose the League upon the advice of the Humane Society International, the global wing of the Humane Society of the U.S. Legal restrictions and strict quarantine procedures ruled out sending the dogs to closer shelters in Europe.

The dogs that arrived on Tuesday, July 27—4 adults and 5 puppies—are all desert dogs, an indigenous, naturally occurring breed that comprises most of the population of stray dogs there. Desert dogs are medium-sized with short coats, long limbs, and large ears. According to staff at the Kuwaiti shelter, conditions are so harsh in the desert nation, that dogs rarely live to see their second birthday. If they do not succumb to dehydration and heat, they die of malnutrition or intentional mass poisonings by government workers.

“Many of the dogs and cats we have been helping over the past month have been victims of our local intense heat,” notes Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO. “We’ve seen plenty of dehydration and heat distress. But to survive 140-degree heat without so much as a fan is something else entirely. No wonder the dogs act so happy to get here! And of course, we are happy to welcome them to our shelter, where they can get whatever they need to start life as American dogs.”

Most of the League’s animals come from local shelters and area residents who can no longer keep their pets. But the League’s doors are always open for animals, like the Kuwait dogs, who need refuge in the wake of a natural or man-made disaster, wherever that may be.

The dogs arrived at Dulles International via Lufthansa flight #416 at 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27 and are now at the League.

To see the press release, click here.

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