Fact check: No, the U.S. did not leave service dogs in Afghanistan

In this Aug. 30, 2021, photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a Air Force aircrew, assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, prepares to receive soldiers, assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in support of the final noncombatant evacuation operation missions at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Afghanistan. (Senior Airman Taylor Crul/U.S. Air Force via AP) (Senior Airman Taylor Crul)

A photo making the rounds on social media has sparked false claims that the U.S. left military service dogs in Kabul amid the military pullout.

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The post was fueled by reports published by Fox News and TMZ that claimed a nonprofit was working to evacuate dozens of military dogs from Afghanistan in the final days before the U.S. was set to leave the country.

The photo showed dogs in crates in front of a helicopter, and the American Humane Society even released a statement criticizing the Biden administration for the decision.

However, John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, released the following statement on Tuesday in an effort to put the rumors to bed:

Long story short, the dogs and the photo are both real but were posted out of context and used in a misleading way.

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