Around the town of Now Zad in Afghanistan, many stray dogs dodge military fire searching for food and they are often used locally for fighting. In 2006, British marines started breaking up fights and freeing the animals and the dogs soon realised where they could find food and kindness.

First, they rescued a dog they named Nowzad from a fight and freed a female, Jena, from a forced mating to produce more fighting animals. Then Tali crept under the gate, bringing her six puppies.

Sergeant Paul “Penny” Farthing contacted The Mayhew Animal Home, who put him in touch with a private animal shelter they support in Kabul. They have worked in the city for some time, funding and supporting a clinic at Kabul University Veterinary Faculty.

During 2007, some dogs were rescued, but there were casualties, due to disease and being stolen for the fights, but there is a happy ending for some now living in Britain.

Penny writes:

“After six months of freedom, daily walks and a relaxed home life, Nowzad and Tali are fully accustomed to their new ‘pet status’ lifestyle. Nowzad loves nothing more than curling up by our feet when and if Tali will ever leave him in peace.

She is a right little madam who loves to try and make Nowzad play all the time. They still both have a few issues with strangers, but we are working on it. Tali also managed to make a celebrity appearance at the Mayhew Open Day where she was definitely the star!

Helmand soon took on the role his mum Tali had vacated at the quarantine centre, eagerly looking out for birds and rabbits. His cheeky character has been brought out by the quarantine staff, whom we would like to thank again for their personal touch with all of the Now Zad dogs.

And so that brings us to the end of the original Nowzad Dogs story as Helmand, who was the only surviving pup that we tried to rescue from Now Zad, has finally finished his stint in quarantine.

Nowzad Dogs in print

Nowzad and Tali’s story is going into print and the launch will be early 2009.

If the book sells well, we’ll be able to be even more pro-active in improving the welfare of animals in Afghanistan – and helping the people there, too.

We’re also planning to publish a book for children next year about Nowzad and Tali’s adventures. It’s being written by children’s author (and Nowzad Dogs supporter) Jane West, and has the working title My Name is Dog.

Next steps:

We are determined to continue what we have started and I hope you will continue to work alongside with us.

We aim to achieve this through:

• Funding the Afghan Vets training programme run by the Mayhew Animal Home in London, as well as researching the possibility of funding a more local training programme to Afghanistan.

• Supporting the work of the Afghan animal rescue centre with vaccines, food and supplies.

• Awareness campaigns and education of animal welfare issues in Afghanistan.

• Continuing to support soldiers and civilians who find themselves in the situation that we did.

• Advice and training for animal welfare supporters.

Nowzad Dogs

PO Box 193, Exmouth EX8 3WU