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Former UK Soldier Rescues 200 Dogs & Cats From Afghanistan


As the situation in Afghanistan grows hostile and the deadline for evacuations draw closer, Pen Farthing – a former British Royal Marina who runs Nowzard, the only pet shelter in Afghanistan – has refused to leave his shelter behind.



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The rescuer made his way out of the strife-torn country on board a private jet after going ‘through hell’ amid chaos at the airport.



Farthing set up the Nowzad animal shelter near Kabul after serving in the military in 2006. Speaking of his shelter, Farthing shared that whilst on duty, he helped break up a fight between two stray dogs and afterwards, one of the strays started following him.



Farthing then named him Nowzad after the town they were in and that’s when the idea of the shelter came in. Farthing even wrote 3 books based on this experience: One Dog at a Time: Saving the strays of Helmand – An Inspiring True Story (2009), No Place Like Home: A New Beginning with the Dogs of Afghanistan (2010) and Wylie: The Brave Street Dog who Never Gave Up (2014).



Farthing then set up the shelter in 2007 and looks to reunite former servicemen and women with pets they met while on tour. The shelter also rescues stray cats and dogs to provide them with food and shelter. Now, ever since the collapse of the Afghan government, Farthing has rescued 200 cats and dogs.



He also attempted to arrange a freedom flight in an operation dubbed ‘Operation Ark’. He chartered a $500,000 plane to Kabul for the rescue operation and also made a plea to the Taliban spokesperson on Twitter to ensure safe passage into Kabul airport.



On Thursday, Farthing even got caught in the chaos when two explosions took place a the Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing over 170 people.



On Friday, Farthing then took to Twitter to say that he and his team, alongside the animals, made it safely inside the airport perimeter.



Farthing flew out of Afghanistan for Tashkent in Uzbekistan with 94 dogs and 79 cats on a private jet and will later return to the UK.