Animal charity Nowzad tries to get as many dogs as possible out of Kabul

A white and light brown dog looks into the camera.
Dog Tela at the shelter in Kabul, photo: Facebook page Nowzad

Kabul based animal charity, Nowzad, is trying to get as many animals as possible out of Afghanistan and euthanise others following the capital’s take over by the Taliban Sunday. 

A Nowzad spokesperson based in England told The Animal Reader that the charity’s founder, Pen Farthing, and his team are still on the ground in Kabul, and concerns are growing for him and his staff, especially women. 

Farthing, a former UK Royal Marine, founded Nowzad about ten years ago to help soldiers finishing Afghan duty tours take adopted dogs home with them.

Asked how many dogs might make it out of the country and how many might be euthanised, the spokesperson said it was unsafe to reveal any details at this point. 

The most immediate fear, he said, is that the Taliban will come knocking on the shelter’s door at any moment. Social media posts are currently being cleaned up and deleted in a bid to protect animals and people. 

Euthanasia, he said, is currently the least worst option for those dogs that cannot be flown out. “There is a risk the Taliban will shoot the dogs, and they might not die immediately,” the spokesperson said. 

In a social media post on Sunday, Farthing said he and the rest of the staff were no longer safe in Kabul, having worked for the Nowzad charity that supports dogs and soldiers, “two things the Taliban are not particularly keen on.”

Other animals at the Kabul shelter include donkeys, goats, horses. All are being moved to safer places, he said. 

Dogs that make it onto a cargo plane chartered by the charity will be flown to a secret destination, but it will not be the USA due to a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) ban on dogs from Afghanistan. 

In a Twitter post, British actor Peter Egan, asked British voters to help bring all Nowzad’s staff and families to the UK by asking the country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and their local MPs to “help Pen Farthing save his staff in Kabul.”

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