Pen Farthing’s cats and dogs to be rehomed ‘in next few weeks’

Hundreds of dogs and cats need to be rehomed

Eleanor Sly
Thursday 02 September 2021 16:38
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<p>Paul “Pen” Farthing evacuated the animals from his Nowzad shelter in Kabul  </p>

Paul “Pen” Farthing evacuated the animals from his Nowzad shelter in Kabul

The rehoming process for many hundreds of dogs and cats which were evacuated from Afghanistan by a former Royal Marine will begin in the “next few weeks”, an animal welfare campaigner has said.

Paul “Pen” Farthing returned to the UK on Sunday, arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport in a charter flight at about 7:30am 29th September. This came, following his Operation Ark campaign to evacuate both workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.

A supporter of Mr Farthing, Dominic Dyer, who assisted with the operation, explained to PA news agency that the 100 dogs and 70 cats which have been brought to safety in the UK are in a “very good condition” and are currently residing in quarantine kennels across the UK.

He explained that they were very popular, with hundreds of people interested in adopting them, adding that those wishing to adopt will have to undergo a “screening process” to pick the most “suitable homes” for the animals.

Official government guidance states that pets need to be vaccinated against rabies before they arrive in the UK, have a pet passport and be microchipped. If not, they may have to be quarantined for up to four months.

Mr Dyer said: “We had a good plan of action and the animals are doing very well in the kennels – and despite the difficult journey, they’ve been durable and tough.

“Over the next few weeks the animals will start to be rehomed, we have hundreds of people for each dog or cat – so it’s very likely all of them will be adopted and taken in by different families.

“They are some of the most famous animals in the world right now, so there will be no shortage, but we want to be clear it’s not first come first served.

“Nowzad is only a small charity so the process will be a slow one and there is an awful lot of work to be done.”

Mr Farthing is currently still in the process of attempting to evacuate 68 Nowzad animal shelter staff and family members who remain in Afghanistan. These include 25 children and one newborn baby.

Although the Operation Ark campaign has received a huge amount of support, it has also been controversial, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace complaining that a few of Mr Farthing’s supporters had “taken up too much time” of senior commanders.

Mr Farthing also made an apology for leaving a rude message for Peter Quentin, who is a special adviser to Mr Wallace, whilst he was in the midst of trying to carry out the evacuation.

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