FORT BLISS, Texas — Ten dogs that were being transported across country to a canine training center at Fort Bliss, Texas, died and another two were sickened when the air conditioning in the vehicle malfunctioned, the El Paso Times reported.
The surviving dogs were immediately given medical care, Fort Bliss officials told the Times. Five other dogs were unaffected in the Monday incident.
The dogs — German shepherds and Belgian Malinois — were supposed to be housed at the Canine Center El Paso, which is behind Fort Bliss’ 1st Armored Division headquarters and is a canine training facility used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The center is not run by the Army or Fort Bliss, the Times said.
“This is pretty horrifying,” Fort Bliss spokesman Maj. Joe Buccino told the El Paso Times. “I think everyone that heard this story is pretty upset by it. Those dogs were essentially in an oven. You don’t have to be an animal lover to be sick about this.”
Ken Licklider, owner of the Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., which owned and transported the dogs, called it a “tragic accident.”
“We take dogs to California and all over the world,” he said. “We are very experienced in transporting dogs. This was simply a tragic accident.”