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Attempt to flee Kabul takes a devastating turn for Nowzad staff and animals

nowzad staff watering animals in crates outside the airport dog-cat-sad © domdyer70 - Twitter

People trying to flee Afghanistan have until the 31st of August to do so. Any later than that and they would be taking huge risks if they attempted to cross the border.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the , Updated on the

Pen Farthing, founder of Nowzad, has been incredibly brave throughout this entire ordeal. From the start of the Taliban take-over, he has insisted that he wouldn’t be leaving the country without his Afghan staff or animals – even though with a British passport, he technically could.

Thanks to a lot of media exposure, Pen and his team were miraculously able to secure everything they needed to get out of the country: A flight, permission from various government officials, and transportation to the airport. Yesterday, they arrived at Kabul airport in the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately, not everything went as planned.

Airport chaos

Pen and his staff waited for 10 hours in the scorching heat, waiting for the Taliban to let them in. They went through “hell” – as Pen put it in a Twitter post – facing gunmen who targeted their truck and narrowly avoiding the explosions that occurred right outside of the airport. And sadly, this was all in vain. Two hours earlier, Joe Biden had changed the requirements of entry into the airport. Pen’s team no longer met them. After all their efforts, they were turned away.

What does the future hold?

Although Pen has not yet made an official statement, we do believe he has returned to the Nowzad shelter with his team. According to the BBC, his team have told him “it is time to go”, and asked him to take as many animals as he can with him. Although we don’t know what is going to happen in the coming hours, it is highly probable that Pen will have to leave the country alone, leaving his Afghan staff and most of his rescue animals behind. We are heartbroken for him.

Here’s hoping that good Karma will reach him soon. Watch this space for updates. 

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