A Defense Department Inspector General report published Thursday found that the U.S. Army mistreated bomb-sniffing dogs after they were discharged from the military, Reuters reported.
The dogs accompanied combat teams in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2014, sniffing out roadside bombs and saving human lives.
Upon return to the U.S., many of the dogs were left in kennels for nearly a year and not given proper care or attention, according to the report.
Some of the dogs were put down, and people interested in adopting the canine soldiers were never screened.
The inspector general report blamed the Army for the dogs’ mistreatment, and said that they did not follow Defense Department procedures for handling the canine heroes.
Reuters was unable to reach any of the soldiers who complained about the dogs’ mistreatment, which originally prompted the Pentagon to launch an investigation. But some soldiers rescued their own dogs from Army kennels, according to the report.
The report also accused the military of improperly obtaining the dogs through a private contractor, rather than through the Air Force.