K9 Demining Corps Campaign Sends Mine Detection Dog Teams to Lebanon

Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI)


Thanks to a very generous donation from a private donor, MLI has purchased, trained, and certified six mine detection dogs for deployment to Lebanon as part of the K9 Demining Corps. Lebanon has suffered over twenty years of civil conflict involving both domestic groups and foreign armies. There are estimates of tens of thousands of landmines planted throughout Lebanon. Landmine clearance efforts are coordinated by the National Demining Office of Lebanon, headed by Brigadier General George Sawaya. UN forces are assisting with mine clearance in Southern Lebanon. Since May, 2000, over 50 people have been wounded by landmines and 11 have died.

General George Sawaya** General George Sawaya, President of the National Demining Office in Lebanon, with Toughy at Global Training Academy

Mine detection dog (MDD) teams are well suited to the task of supporting humanitarian demining operations in Lebanon. They can work quickly and efficiently and can cover terrain inaccessible to machines. The dogs can "sniff out" landmines that are invisible to metal detectors. MDD teams can also assure the quality of work done by manual deminers.

The Rouhanas Donation for K9**Amy Newmark and William Rouhana presenting check to General Sullivan at the US Mission to the UN

The six mine dogs have received twelve weeks of training at Global Training Academy in Somerset, Texas. The Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs at the U.S. Department of State will fund an additional three months of training with Lebanese handlers beginning in January 2001.


Mine field in Lebanon

Minefeild in Lebanon

The mine detection dog teams were funded by a unique gift from William J. Rouhana Jr. and his wife Amy Newmark. In lieu of traditional wedding gifts, the couple requested donations to support the Adopt-A-Dog Program. The Marshall Legacy Institute, along with the Humpty Dumpty Institute and officials from the US Government and the United Nations recently celebrated the K9 Demining Corps Campaign and this philanthropic gift at a ceremony at the US Mission to the UN on November 28, 2000. Also present was Sally, a 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd, who is part of the team going to Lebanon.

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