Shipping Military Dogs: Operation K-9s to Kandahar

Matt KincaidNo two pet moves are the same, but some are definitely more complicated than others. Recently had the opportunity to move 36 military dogs from Texas to Afghanistan, and Director of Client Relations Matt Kincaid headed up this high-priority operation. Here's what he had to say about this challenging and ultimately successful experience:

In March I was contacted by IQ Global Solutions based in Fort Washington, MD.  They were inquiring about the costs and feasibility of relocating 36 dogs from San Antonio, Texas to Kandahar, Afghanistan in a very short period of time on behalf of the US government.  I knew immediately that these dogs weren’t your typical canines.  Every one of them is specially trained in either search and rescue or to sniff out IEDs and other explosives, and each would join the front line in the war in Afghanistan.     

Never being one to turn down a challenge, I did the research needed to begin piecing together the relocation, and I put together a tentative logistics plan for moving forward.  This consisted of transporting by ground all dogs from their origin near San Antonio to Houston Intercontinental Airport, then flying from Houston to Frankfurt, Germany. From Frankfurt the dogs would travel to Dubai, and then from Dubai they’d go to Kandahar.  

Given our experience in relocating family pets, we have the resources available to ensure that the animal’s welfare is treated as the primary concern.  This shipment would be no exception, so we chose to fly with Lufthansa Airlines via Frankfurt, as their live animal program and Animal Lounge in Frankfurt make up one of the best pet travel programs in the world. 


military working dog

To facilitate the Dubai transit, I worked closely with Yohannes Hailemariam of Move One Relocations.  I worked with Yohannes to arrange three separate stations for each dog to pass through upon their arrival in Dubai.  Station One consisted of having the dog cleared through customs, removed from his/her crate, and provided with food.  Station Two entailed the exercising of each dog, while Station Three was for bathing the dogs. 

There was a delay in Dubai which prevented the dogs from departing as scheduled, so the dogs were kept in Dubai for an additional two days.  Fortunately, due to our preparedness, each dog continued to rotate through the stations and was properly exercised and fed during the delay.



Dogs being boarded onto the plane


On the morning of their arrival in Kandahar, I received a call that all dogs had arrived at the Kandahar Air Force Base in great condition.  The clients on the receiving end in Afghanistan were extremely happy wi h the condition and general heath of the dogs, and stated that “the animals arrived in the best health and shape of any of the previous shipments.”




PetRelocation Team




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