Kevin and his handler Kelly in Afghanistan. Picture: British Army
Two "hero" retired army dogs who face being put down because they cannot be re-homed must be reprieved, a minister has said.
Sir Alan Duncan has intervened in a bid to save Kevin and Dazz by writing to Ministry of Defence (MOD) ministerial colleagues.
The Belgian shepherds are due to face lethal injections next week but former soldiers and handlers are trying to stop that.
Foreign Office minister Sir Alan represents the constituency where the centre is based and has spoken with a dog handler involved with the campaign.
He has been told letters of support offering homes to the dogs have been rejected.
Sir Alan said: "These are hero dogs who have fought fearlessly alongside our soldiers.
"Let us now be the ones to fight for them and give them a chance to live happy lives where they can thrive. It is the least they deserve.
"Of course, it is of great importance that all military dogs are properly assessed before re-homing to ensure they do not pose a danger to civilians, but only in circumstances where such danger has been properly proven should they be put down.
"I have written to MOD ministers personally to ask for a reprieve and am awaiting a response."
The campaign to save two army dogs which helped save thousands of lives while on duty in Afghanistan will be put down next week because they can’t be re-homed has been gaining momentum.
Former SAS officer Andy McNab has launched an online petition to save the dogs from being destroyed, saying "we owe them every chance possible to be housed and not killed".
Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz sniffed out deadly IEDs on missions in Helmand Province before being retired but both dogs face lethal injections after military chiefs ruled them unsafe for new homes.
According to The Sun, Army dog handlers have written to the commanding officer at the Defence Animal Centre in Leicestershire, where the dogs have been working with trainees since being retired, calling for the decision to be reversed.
Despite experienced handlers offering to home the two dogs, the C/O is believed to be standing firm, after a recent incident where another dog bit a civilian.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Wherever possible, we endeavour to re-home them (dogs) at the end of their service life.
"Sadly, there are some occasions where this is not possible."
Andy McNab said:
"Service dogs have saved my life on numerous occasions. We have a duty to save them.
"Dogs like Kevin, Dazz and Driver are an asset when they are serving but they even more of an asset when they are retired."
Last month, a military dog who helped save the lives of Special Forces troops in Afghanistan received the Dickin Medal - the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Mali, the eight-year-old Belgian Malinois was helping SBS and Afghan troops clear a building in the capital Kabul following a high-profile Taliban attack, when he was seriously injured during the operation.