Founder of Kabul dog shelter may have to put them down as Taliban close in

A former Royal Marine is preparing to euthanise up to 140 shelter dogs in Kabul as the Taliban close in.

Pen Farthing, 57, accused US President Joe Biden of "throwing Afghanistan to the wolves" with the recalling of troops earlier this year.

Farthing set up his charity Nowzad in Kabul in 2007 aiming to save stray dogs and abused donkeys. It has 140 dogs, 60 cats, and 12 donkeys among other animals at its three sites.

Farthing has pleaded with the UK government to help him, his staff, and his animals.

Speaking in a video on Facebook, Farthing said: "Some of the dogs are going to have to be put to sleep. There’s no other option and it breaks my heart.

"The Taliban banned dog ownership when in power last time, and it’s just too much of a risk. Never, ever did I want to put dogs to sleep."

Farthing has also said that he is attempting to charter a plane and that he is talking to animal-friendly countries that may help him.

He is also refusing to leave without his staff, who would be left in the hands of Taliban forces.

Dr Hamida Shabae, a 26-year-old veterinary surgeon who works for Nowzad, was 5 when the Taliban were replaced by a western-backed Afghan government.

She said: "I have never been this scared in all my life. This is the start of dark days for women.

"We will not be allowed to come out of our homes anymore. Our sisters will be banned from school."

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"I have to leave. Not just for me, but for my family. What if the Taliban go to them and say, 'Your daughter is working with foreigners'."

Due to the timeliness of her adolescence, Dr Shabae benefitted from the access to education that the western-backed Afghan government gave to women.

This access allowed her to graduate from Kabul University and become a veterinary surgeon.

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Now this progress and the people in Afghanistan are under threat. Farthing said that: "It's game over for us. There is no tomorrow for the people of Afghanistan. This is it.

"What the heck was the last 20 years for? We have just sent Afghanistan back to the 1990s."

He also explained that Nowzad's staff are particularly susceptible to persecution as they work for a western charity with links to the British military.

Many, including celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan, have pledged money towards 'Operation Ark' to save Nowzad's staff and animals from the Taliban.

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