Pen Farthing, ex-marine and founder of the Nowzad animal charity, is still in Kabul, and unfortunately, is at a loss at what to do.
He has sent his female Afghan team home for safety, as they will no longer be able to work under the new Taliban rule. For now, he is alone with a select few people and all the animals he has worked so hard to save.
The difficulties of evacuating the country
According to Pen, even if a plane was ready to fly out to the UK, he would not be able to travel to the airport, as the Taliban now demand a permission slip from anyone moving around in the city. In addition, Pen doesn’t want to abandon his Afghan staff – though he doesn’t know if his presence puts them in more danger than if he left.
And finally, the animals. Despite all the people Pen has contacted, no country is currently willing to take them in. The CDC ban in the United States and the strict quarantine rules in the United Kingdom make it nearly impossible to bring animals in from abroad in normal times – not to mention in a matter of days in such an emergency situation.
An uncertain future
Yet, Pen has spent the last 15 years rescuing these animals from the street. Some of them were found in such bad shape and made miraculous recoveries. Others were sent to their forever homes all over the world, sometimes reuniting with soldiers they had bonded with. To see all of that incredible work go to waste is unthinkable for Pen and his team. Yet, it’s a reality they have to face.
If Pen and his staff can get out but no-one is willing to take the animals, they face a dire future. Those well enough will be released onto the streets. Those who are unwell and would perish slowly and painfully if left to fend for themselves, will tragically have to be euthanised. It’s an option Pen and his team do not want to choose. There’s only one way they can save themselves AND the animals. And we can help.
How to help Nowzad
In a desperate plea to his followers on his Facebook page, Pen asks that people message the following ministers on their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts:
Pen is also asking his followers to donate if they can. The money could help to hire a cargo plane that will get him, his staff, and his beloved animals out in time. It will also enable the charity to get back on its feet once it arrives in England…if they succeed, of course.
If you can, please help our friends at Nowzad. Our thoughts are with you.