Ex-marine who funded animal rescue in Kabal to rescue stray dogs and donkeys fearful for future of staff

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During his deployment in 2006, Paul “Pen” Farthing began an animal rescue after breaking up a fight between two dogs in the town of Nawzad. One of the dogs followed Farthing and the two quickly became bonded; at the end of his deployment the marine sought to bring the dog back to the United Kingdom with him.

And the animal charity Nowzad began -dogs and cats who befriended soldiers while in Afghanistan would be reunited at home. Since then, more than 140 dogs and 40 cats have cared for 1,600 animals. Farthing’s book, One Dog at a Time helps to fund the work of the animal sanctuary.

Currently, Farthing says he will not leave Afghanistan since the Taliban have taken over until his staff of 71 people are transported safely out of the country. His staff includes the country’s first full-qualified female veterinarians whose futures are uncertain.

“What do you say to someone who is probably going to be told they will have to marry a Taliban fighter and end up living at home, never being allowed to leave and just raising children with someone they absolutely detest?”

Farthing speaking to the BBC

More than 200 animals currently in their care. During the previous rule of the Taliban, pet ownership had been banned. A relocation plan for 98 dogs and 88 cats, Operation Ark, will rent a cargo plane and fly the animals out of the country. The new destination has not been disclosed, but Nowzad has partnered with another rescue organization and are hoping to raise $200,000 to cover the costs.

The current facility includes a shelter for the dogs, clinic and the country’s first donkey sanctuary. Not all of the animals can be flown out of the country. The donkeys are unable to leave, and it is hoped chosen local residents will keep them safe. Other dogs with severe injuries will have to be put to sleep and dogs that can survive on the streets will be released.

A social media campaign is currently underway, however Farthing says he has not had any communication with the British government. According to the BBCNews, the Foreign Office stated they have now been in contact with Farthing and are offering assistance. The UK hopes to help 6,000 – 7,000 British nationals and eligible Afghan staff to leave including interpreters, cultural advisers, embassy staff and those at high and imminent risk.

To help get the word out:

To all our Nowzad family and beyond….If we are able to secure any kind of evacuation for Pen and our team, it simply can’t happen without guaranteed safe passage from their compound into and through Kabul airport. If any move was to happen without this security in place, we risk the safety and lives of many. Please, please can we ask you today to write to the following Ministers, to push this message as much and as hard as you can. Please do all you can – we must rescue the animal rescuers, we will leave no one behind.


Rt Hon Wendy Morton – https://twitter.com/morton_wendy*

Rt Hon James Cleverly – https://twitter.com/jamescleverly*

Rt Hon Dominic Raab – https://twitter.com/DominicRaab*

Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith – https://twitter.com/ZacGoldsmith*

Rt Hon Lord (Tariq) Ahmad – https://twitter.com/tariqahmadbt*

Rt Hon Ben Wallace – https://twitter.com/BWallaceM



To donate to the vital work of Nowzad please visit:www.nowzad.com/donate

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