Pen Farthing, the former British marine who founded the animal charity Nowzad in Kabul, Afghanistan, has praised the support he’s received in his bid to get the charity team and its animals safe passage out of the country.
“I don’t have words for the love being shown to the Nowzad team,” he said in a video on the charity’s website. “We’ve had some amazing messages of support.”
Pen launched the charity in 2006 after adopting a stray dog while serving in Helmand province. The charity has a dog shelter which looks after nearly 140 dogs and a cat shelter with more than 40 cats.
Following the Taliban’s entry into Kabul, Pen made the headlines in national newspapers and on social media as he vowed not to leave until he had evacuated his employees and the cats and dogs his charity had rescued.
A major fundraising push was initiated, aiming to raise $250,000 to bring in an aircraft to fly staff and animals out of Kabul to an undisclosed location, and Pen has been calling on the British government to help with paperwork and safe passage.
Today, he urged people to keep up the campaign by contacting their MPs and ministers via social media. “The Nowzad team does not deserve to be abandoned,” he said.
To get the latest updates on what is happening in Afghanistan and to find out how you can help, visit nowzad.com or the charity’s Facebook page.
The devastating situation has affected other charities that are working to save animals in Afghanistan, including Kabul Small Animal Rescue, rescue partner of War Paws, previously featured in Your Dog Magazine. The charity is working round the clock trying to get animals out. Louise Hastie, trustee, said: “We do have some flights booked but the situation out there is so fluid we do not know if they will happen or not. Our person on the ground is there alone with her staff, refusing to leave unless she can get the animals out and her staff. It is highly stressful and we are frantically fundraising along with a group in the US to be able to get as many as 100 dogs and 150 cats out.”
To find out more and discover how you can help, visit warpaws.org