(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – An animal rescue group based in Kabul, Afghanistan is pleading with the British government and others to help them evacuate the country with their staff and animals.
Paul “Pen” Farthing, a former Royal Marine Commando started Nowzad animal rescue in 2007 after seeing the bond service members formed with dogs on the streets of Afghanistan.
What started as a group that would reunite those animals with those soldiers once they got home, has morphed into a shelter in Kabul, housing nearly 200 dogs and cats.
Nowzad has also started a training program training Afghan citizens how to care for animals.
Those animals were available for adoption in the U.K., U.S., and Canada.
Since the Taliban have regained control of the capitol city, Farthing and some 70 staffers have been trapped in the shelter, unable to get to the airport safely.
Right now, he said the Taliban would block them from getting to the airport and with military checkpoints no longer in place, they likely can’t get there without facing violence.
Farthing has gone on a social media rampage, posting Facebook live videos nearly every day pleading with politicians in his home country to find a way to get them safely out of Kabul.
“We’ve got to get our team out of Afghanistan, I am not leaving them here,” Farthing said on Facebook live on August 17th.
By Saturday, August 21st, Farthing posted again that he fears they’ll start running out of food for staff and their animals because they can’t access the banks.
Farthing has teamed up with Dominic Dyer out of the U.K. for help creating the Rescue the Animal Rescuers campaign, to bring attention to Nowzad’s situation and hopefully get them home safely.
Dyer said, “It’s become a full-time job in the past few days, but it’s important, we want to get these people home and we are going to get these people home.”
Dyer joined FOX 46 via Zoom this week, saying that he fears for Nowzad’s female veterinarians and other staff, adding that the animals in their care, wouldn’t be much better off.
“Dogs will be left just to fend for themselves on the streets and will be diseased and shot and run over. They don’t really care,” Dyer said.
The mission has garnered thousands of views and comments on social media as well as donations.
Dyer said, “The response has been incredible.”
His latest Twitter update on Saturday said that they managed to get immigration paperwork for staff members and have been able to secure a plane to take them and all the animals out of Kabul.
Dyer said they’d be ready to leave as soon as they can guarantee a safe corridor to travel there.