To relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan; including companion animals, working equines, stray and abandoned dogs and cats and all other animals in need of care and attention, and to provide and maintain rescue, rehabilitation and education facilities for the care and treatment of such animals with no voice but ours.
We are launching a new and much needed appeal.
Here, our Founder, Pen Farthing explains why:
The phone call came as we were leaving a coalition military base in Kabul, thankfully common sense has prevailed and a cat policy has been adopted within the confines of the fortified base. Nowzad Dogs staff come on to the base to neuter and spay the cat population and vaccinate for rabies. The cats have their own living area and feeding station, therefore completely preventing unwanted feline sightings in the mess hall. Those military personnel who draw comfort from having a cat around are safe in the knowledge that rabies is not lurking in the shadows which also appeases most of the higher command.
I knew immediately, as I listened to our head vet Dr Hadi give me the information, that I had a very unpleasant task ahead. But it was also something we could not avoid "“ not if we truly wanted to make a difference for the dog population of Kabul.
A dog, both back legs apparently broken was crawling along the side of the most dangerous road in Kabul that separated a sprawling Afghan version of an industrial estate "“ the Jalalabad highway, as infamous for its nose to bumper traffic as it was the frequent Taliban suicide attacks on the many target rich bases and organisations that called the road home.
A former Royal Marine Commando of 20 years and I thought I had seen most things that other people should not have to witness. But the sight of a one proud adult male Kuchi crawling along the road heading nowhere with no hope completely broke me in two. Once upon a time he would have been the size of my Patchdog, an Afghan Kuchi rescued from Kandahar, that shares the house with myself and my girlfriend Hannah.
But whilst this frightened dog had the build of Patchdog upfront, his rear legs had wasted away to skin and bones and dragged useless behind him. He had not eaten in days. It was a slow agonising crawl.
The locals wanted to take photos of the westerners rescuing a helpless dog; we posed for pictures to keep them onside.
Along with Dan, a legend of a volunteer from Texas who has spent the past week helping out at the Nowzad shelter, we fashioned a muzzle from my scarf and prepared to lift the dog into the van.
We feared the worst; a dog in pain is extremely liable to lash out and bite anybody in range. We need not have worried. It gave into us picking it up immediately, the nerve endings to its legs had long since died and the fight to survive had already ebbed.
We had actually been destined for the airport so Dan could catch his flight home. Dan hesitated not and cradled the dog's head as we made it as comfortable as possible for the drive to the Nowzad clinic via the airport.
It was a forgone conclusion that this was a one way trip for the broken Kuchi. "˜We can't let him go without a name' I said to Dan.
"˜JBad' was Dan's immediate reply "“ the local name given to the Jalalabad road.
And so until we dropped Dan off at the airport, "˜JBad' gained his first ever human friend in the world. Watching this crippled beast of a dog attempt to crawl closely to Dan was heart-wrenching. At times I had to look out of the side window at the masses of mini vans and trucks heading in every direction through the congested dirt roads of Kabul least I not buckle to the very emotional sight before me.
My planned jolly farewell to Dan did not materialise as we said a subdued goodbye as I took up position cradling "˜JBad' in the back of our van, our driver Wahid not needing to be told to watch every bump and pothole as he hastily drove us to the Nowzad clinic.
As I looked at this helpless dog the frustration and stress of not being able to do anything for him pushed its way to the surface. I felt a tear roll down my cheek.
"˜Damn it JBad' I said to him as if he could understand. "˜Thanks a lot'.
Our young staff of Afghan vets, were waiting for us as we pulled into the Nowzad compound. A tin of "˜real' western brand dog food already opened and mashed into a bowl.
JBad tasted his first decent meal in the warmth of the clinic, surrounded by Afghans who truly cared for his wellbeing. In his broken English Wahid pointed at JBad and said "˜you fix?'
I just shook my head.
When he had finished eating I laid JBad down once more on the floor of the clinic and cradled his head. JBad knew what was coming. His big sad eyes closed for the last time. The two young Nowzad vets set to work in a calm and quiet manner.
I told JBad we were sorry but he would find comfort now. No more pain.
JBad fell asleep.
The respect shown in burying JBad was amazing. Nobody should dare generalise all Muslims as "˜dog haters' as I watch our driver say a few quiet words to himself as we lowered JBad into his final resting place in our garden.
I could show people plenty of westerners who would not have been as caring to JBad as our staff were in those moments.
JBad is not the first Afghan dog our Nowzad clinic has had to humanely put to sleep due to untreatable injuries sustained on the streets of Kabul. And I know he won't be the last. But JBad, although he will never know it, is going to be the beginning of a campaign to ensure we have the funds in place to care for all the other JBad dogs out here in Kabul.
The Afghan staff who cared for JBad need salaries, (working for free to promote the cause of animal welfare is but a pipe dream when life here in Afghanistan is already so hard), the drugs used to make JBad comfortable need purchasing and importing, the very room that JBad had his last meal in comfort must be rented and heated "“ the list is endless.
So I ask you from the bottom of my heart if you have read this article and feel anything like I do then please donate even just a £1 or $1.. the fund raising page so for the next JBad Nowzad can be there and do the same.
Question: How is the money I donate spent? How do I know it is used to help an Afghan stray companion animal? Can my donation go towards a specific animal? Answer from Nowzad: As a charity we are bound by the strict auditing regulations demanded by the UK charity commission. The board of trustees make sure the money is used to maximum effect in making a difference to the lives of animals in Afghanistan, which includes the daily running costs of the Nowzad Afghan shelter, rescue transport costs, animal food and medicines (including vaccines) and of course our Afghan staff wages. If, for whatever reason the companion animal rescue is not successful (disease or injury) then Nowzad will use the money collected on this Go Fund Me page to support the daily running of theNowzad shelter "“ if you are not happy with our policy then please do not donate as we are unable to offer refunds. Donating via Go Fund MeMAY NOT be tax deductible. Please visit the Soldiers' Animals Companion Fund www.sacfund.com if you wish to make a tax-deductible donation from the US. If you have any further questions about how to donate then please just ask [email redacted] We would like to make everybody aware that this Go Fund Me page is not the only method that is being used to fund raise for the rescue costs associated with this companion animal from Afghanistan. The total required for a companion animal to travel to north America is on average $4000 (we make no profit and everything is subject to currency valuations and fuel prices on the day). To try and reflect the donations received from sources such as the Soldier's Animals Companion Fund www.sacfund.comor via direct PayPal transfers, you may see the total amount required for this particular Go Fund Me less than the $4000 average. If you need further explanation then please just ask! Nowzad Dogs is a registered charity (non-profit) 1119185 in England and Wales and 501c3 non profit in the USA.
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