We saw a number of lives suffering as the Taliban seized control over Afghanistan. Not just humans but several animals have also been abandoned and left to fight for their lives in this war.
In such a dreadful situation, a former royal marine refused to leave the war-torn nation without his animals.
Paul 'Pen' Farthing is the founder of a non-profit organisation called Nowzad, which reunites stray dogs with the soldiers who rescued them.
Founded in 2007, the organisation has cared for about 1,600 rescued animals and reunited them with soldiers. They also hired women as veterinarians for the first time ever in Afghanistan.
However, the 52-year-old marine now fears for the future of their animals. When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan, they banned pet ownership because they considered dogs to be impure.
He even had a relocation plan called ‘Operation Ark’ for rescuing their 140 dogs and 60 cats. The organisation was planning to rent a cargo plane to fly out of the war-torn nation.
He also fought to rescue all 25 staff members and their immediate family members to fly out of the nation.
During a Facebook Live session, he pointed out how the UK is experiencing a shortage of veterinarians and his team has the necessary experience. He also requested his followers to reach out to British PM Boris Johnson so that they can help their organisation.
Farthing is also raising money through his organisation’s donation page to cover these costs.
On August 23rd, Farthing said that the UK government had granted visas for his staff and their immediate family members, totalling 68 people. However, the evacuation of the shelter's animals was still an issue.
However, on August 25th, British politician Ben Wallace took to Twitter and said that officials would allow Farthing to leave with his staff and animals if they arrived at the airport.
Now that Pen Farthing’s staff have been cleared to come forward under LOTR I have authorised MOD to facilitate their processing alongside all other eligible personnel at HKIA. At that stage, if he arrives with his animals we will seek a slot for his plane. @DefenceHQ— Rt. Hon Ben Wallace MP (@BWallaceMP) August 25, 2021