Pen Farthing angered over response to Afghan dog rescue | TeamDogs
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Pen Farthing angered over response to Afghan dog rescue

"Caring about animals doesn't mean not caring about people"

Millie Reeves

Posted 48d ago

PEN Farthing has blasted as ‘a crock of crap’ the idea that the dogs he rescued from Afghanistan would have to be destroyed in the UK.

The former marine, who’s been embroiled in controversy ever since he chartered a flight to get 150 cats and dogs out of the country and to safety, said he’d offloaded the animals at Heathrow airport. He said they were now at the airport's Animal Reception Centre and were healthy.

While the flight was in the air, Whitehall was reportedly briefing against Farthing, claiming that if the cats and dogs were found to be ‘riddled with disease’ they’d have to be put down.

Speaking to MailOnline, Pen, who set up the Nowzad animal shelter in Kabul, said: "Whoever's saying that is talking a crock of crap. One of the things we pride ourselves on at Nowzad is every single animal is fully vaccinated for rabies, parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, they're treated for fleas and ticks and dewormed."

He added: "They're all neutered and spayed and the blood samples are sent to DEFRA to prove they've got the relevant antibodies for rabies."

Referring to the fact he’s in quarantine in Oslo after flying there to be with his wife Kaisa, he said: "My five dogs are ready for me to collect as soon as I'm out of here."

However he revealed that one dog died after, he believes, it was stabbed while they drove through Taliban checkpoints to the airport.

Addressing the controversy about his flight full of animals taking spaces where humans could have been, he raged: "All this s**t about putting animals before people – I have never said my dogs were a priority before people. I have never said I'm a priority. 

"Caring about animals doesn't mean not caring about people, I don't understand where all this is coming from. It's the people that haunt me."

He said he will continue to get the Nowzad rescue centre staff out of Afghanistan.

"It was the staff who made the decision for me to make a second attempt (to escape the country with the animals) on my own," he says. 

"They said, 'Don't stay. You've got to take the dogs out. The Taliban will just shoot them'."

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