Pen Farthing's 68 animal shelter staff safely flee Kabul in 'mind-blowing' success

Nowzad staff were able to leave Afghanistan and are now in Pakistan, where Mr Farthing said they are now in the care of the UK High Commission

Pen Farthing celebrates after all of its staff leave Afghanistan (

Image: PA)

The former Royal Marine Pen Farthing said it was “mind-boggling” that all of his 68 shelter workers were able to leave Afghanistan.

Paul “Pen” Farthing made headlines for his efforts to get rid of animals he cared for after the Taliban overthrown Kabul.

He eventually managed to get nearly 170 dogs and cats out of the country and relied on himself on one of the last flights from Afghanistan back to the UK.

He is now pleased that all of his employees have left Kabul and arrived in Pakistan on Saturday.

He tweeted that his Operation Ark campaign to remove workers and animals from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul had been “a complete success”.

Mr. Farthing was able to bring almost 170 cats and dogs from Afghanistan



Mr Farthing said Nowzad staff are “now safe in Islamabad and in the care of the British High Commission! I am so damn happy right now!”

He said, “This is absolutely stunning. It still hasn’t really arrived.”

Mr Farthing said he saw pictures of the staff upon their arrival and the smiles on their faces “just tell you everything you need to know”.

Afghan personnel had hand-reared dozens of rescued animals but were unable to leave the country during the rushed mass evacuation when foreign forces withdrew two decades after U.S. forces removed the militants from power in 2001 .

Mr Farthing’s campaign to get his animals out of Afghanistan sparked a controversy with much support, but Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said it distracted from efforts to evacuate people.

Mr Farthing had to fly back to the UK on one of the last flights from Kabul



Foreign Minister Dominic Raab was now happy that the staff of the animal shelter could leave Afghanistan.

He tweeted: “Delighted that Nowzad’s Afghan workers called to evacuate successfully crossed the border into Pakistan today.

“Our @ukinpakistan staff support you and we look forward to seeing you in the UK in the coming days.”

Since returning to England in late August, Mr Farthing had worked to evacuate 68 Nowzad shelter staff and family members, including 25 children and a newborn baby, from Afghanistan.

Mr Farthing has also apologized for leaving a slogan-laden message for a government adviser when he tried to evacuate the animals.


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