Dogs face slaughter after being abandoned to Taliban as troops flee Afghanistan

The “broken-hearted Kabul Small Animal Rescue” claims that they had to abandon dogs at the capital’s airport they tried to help escape from Afghanistan after failed attempts to evacuate them

Kabul: Dogs spotted at the airport after the US troops withdrew

Hundreds of dogs have been stranded at Kabul airport after a rescue operation failed to evacuate them before the deadline for US troops to withdraw.

Animal rights activists are still hoping dozens of dogs, cats and shelter workers can flee on a mercy flight after the August 31 deadline expires without a successful rescue.

A desperate operation was launched to retrieve the country’s Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR) cargo as the deadline for foreign forces to leave the country loomed.

However, the campaign claims the dog was abandoned at the airport to become “homeless strays” after they were denied access to evacuation flights.

There are fears for animal safety as reports suggest the Taliban will not allow people to keep pets and a British ex-Marine claims a member of the hardline group stabbed one of the dogs he rescued.

KSAR chief Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, who tried to evacuate around 250 animals and 40 workers from Afghanistan, reportedly stayed in the country after refusing to leave without them.

The Pentagon denied viral reports that these pictures of KSAR airport rescue dogs were military dogs abandoned in cages
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EPN / Newscom / Avalon)

KSAR said it was trying to find its own aircraft to carry out the mission, but it needed US military assistance to assist the operation in exiting the airport.

The supporters of the “Operation Hercules” campaign campaigned for the US government to recruit the remaining forces to bring KSAR employees and animals to safety.

The dogs reportedly reached the airport but were unable to fly out despite efforts to secure private planes.

An update from SPCA International (SPCAI) told supporters that Ms. Maxwell-Jones was forced to leave the airport with a puppy under her arm on Aug. 30 when the latest evacuations were taking place.

One of the rescue dogs Kabul Small Animal Rescue tries to escape from Afghanistan
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Small Animal Rescue Kabul)

One of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue dogs tried to escape, pictured in the days before the evacuation
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Small Animal Rescue Kabul)

The group said rescue attempts were continuing and they were in a “safe” location outside of Kabul.

The groups have alleged that KSAR was forced to let the dogs brought to the airport there because they were not allowed on board during recent military flights and private planes were not allowed access.

SPCAIc claims that most KSAR dogs had to be released into the airport on August 30th when the airport was evacuated – “turning shelter dogs once rescued into homeless strays”.

Hoping to return to the airport when it was safe to rescue the released dogs, KSAR asked the departing US military to open bags of dog food that Ms. Maxwell-Jones had brought to the airport to ensure the pooch’s survival.

The airport was the scene of deadly bloodshed last week as people made final attempts to escape Taliban rule.

Animal shelters from the Kabul Small Animal Rescue work with the animals
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Small Animal Rescue Kabul)

Many people were killed and many more injured in a suicide attack on evacuees and foreign troops waiting in front of the airport gate.

US and British forces continued to evacuate large numbers of foreigners, Afghan refugees and troops before the deadline.

However, they warned that not all could be evacuated in time as the deadline approached.

Controversy arose over the mission of the British ex-Marines Pen Farthing to fly rescue animals from Kabul back to the UK.

Critics said the scarce resources should have been focused on human evacuees instead.

He came home safely with the animals, claiming that one of his dogs was stabbed by the Taliban during his mission.

British ex-Marine Pen Farthing embarked on a high profile mission to bring rescue dogs and cats back to the UK
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PA)

But Mr Farthing said he had “no joy, just feelings of guilt” for leaving workers behind – adding that he was still trying to help them escape.

The Pentagon was also forced to reject reports that service dogs were left behind when troops left Afghanistan after pictures of dogs in boxes at the airport in recent days.

Viral reports and images claiming the dogs were military dogs left to face the Taliban slaughter have been rejected by authorities, US media reports.

Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon told reporters the photos showed the KSAR dogs at the airport and no service animals.

In response to reports the military left the dogs behind, he added, “Despite an ongoing complicated and dangerous retrograde mission, US forces have made great efforts to provide the best possible support to the small animal rescue service in Kabul.”

Lori Kalef, program director at SPCA International, thanked the supporters of the campaign and said rescuers were devastated that dogs had to be abandoned at the airport.

“It breaks our hearts that the planes that we secured for the transport of the rescued dogs from Kabul Small Animal Rescue from Afghanistan were ultimately not allowed to bring the animals and their carers out of the country safely.

“Our team has been working around the clock, exhausting all possible options and resources that we have in our mission to rescue the dogs from the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan.

“We will continue to do everything we can to evacuate Kabul Small Animal Rescue staff and animals after August 31st.”

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