UK founder of rescue in Kabul refuses to leave without his staff and animals

pen farthing petting dogs dog-serious © penfarthing - Instagram / Pen Farthing

The past few days have been a real-life nightmare for many living in Afghanistan. The Taliban have re-taken power and the country’s former president has fled the country.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the , Updated on the

Trips out of Afghanistan are happening in a rushed and chaotic manner, with Afghan and foreign nationals attempting to evacuate.

The first flights from Afghanistan to Oxford arrived on Sunday and British soldiers continue to race against the clock, trying to get as many UK nationals back home as soon as possible.

Nowzad, the animal charity making a difference for animals and people

Last year, we interviewed Pen Farthing, Founder and CEO of the Nowzad animal charity. An ex-marine, Pen decided to start the Nowzad charity in 2006 after he met a dog who changed his life. 

Over the years, Farthing’s charity has helped thousands of cats, dogs, horses and even donkeys! Nowzad takes stray, injured, and ill animals from the street, nurses them back to health, and sometimes, when possible, sends them abroad to their forever families

But Nowzad is much more than just an animal rescue. It has enabled dozens of Afghan nationals to learn about animal health and care. It has provided training opportunities for students, jobs for locals. And now, all of this is at risk of disappearing. 

Afghan animal charity in danger of the Taliban 

With the Taliban taking over Kabul, Farthing and his team fear they will be targeted as they are a Western charity. To add to this, the new regime would mean that any women working on their team, including one of their top vets, Dr Hamida, would have to step down from their positions. A huge step back for many who have never known life under this regime.

Pen Farthing is asking his followers to share his story large and wide. He needs governments’ help. While he is a UK national and could “easily” leave the country in the next few days if he wanted to, he refuses to leave behind his dedicated team with whom he has built a strong bond with.

"There is no way I’m just going to walk out on my staff and say, “there you go, get on with it,"" he told the Daily Mail.

Nowzad needs donations now more than ever so they can fund the safe evacuation of their staff and animals. Every little helps. Our thoughts are with Pen and his team during this difficult time. 

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