A Brit has managed to evacuate over 150 dogs and cats from the Afghan capital Kabul. Ex-military man Paul Farthing managed to safely fly the animals from his shelter in Afghanistan to London.
The veteran also wanted to take the more than twenty employees of the shelter and their families with him, but he was unable to do so. As a result, he was the only person flying along in a plane chartered by him and paid for by fans. Farthing speaks of a ‘partial success’. “Mixed emotions & true deep feeling of sadness for Afghan today.”
Farthing decided on the operation after the takeover by the radical Islamist Taliban. According to the Taliban, the staff did not have the correct papers to enter the Kabul airport. Efforts will continue to be made to evict the employees. In total, 68 employees, 94 dogs and 79 cats were involved.
Farthing’s rescue operation is highly controversial in Britain. For some, the animal lover is a hero. For the other, the whole action is a pure waste of money and material, especially now that many Afghans have to stay behind.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace had previously said he did not consider an animal flight appropriate, as many people in Afghanistan are trying to flee the new Taliban regime. Also, Farthing’s plane would only get in the way at the airport.
Farthing served in Afghanistan during the international military mission. After that, he opened an animal shelter in the country, Nowzad. Last week, Farthing was stopped while on his way to Kabul airport. He then said he feared for the lives of the shelter animals he was trying to save.