Marine smuggles out dogs
PUBLISHED: 01:01 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:47 10 June 2010
A ROYAL Marine has rescued two stray dogs from the Afghanistan front-line and brought them back to live in Exmouth. Dogs Nowzad and Tali were smuggled to safety under the noses of the Taliban from the streets of Helmand Province by 42 Commando, who were
A ROYAL Marine has rescued two stray dogs from the Afghanistan front-line - and brought them back to live in Exmouth.Dogs Nowzad and Tali were smuggled to safety under the noses of the Taliban from the streets of Helmand Province by 42 Commando, who were trained at the Lympstone base.Sergeant Paul 'Penny' Farthing, 38, and his wife, Lisa, 34, are keeping the dogs at their Exmouth home after forming the Nowzad Dogs charity.The charity aims to raise £20,000 by June 2008 to fund the rescue of abandoned and stray dogs, their on-going welfare and treatment, and to assist with the running costs of overseas rescue shelters.Sgt Farthing took the cross-breeds into his care after finding Nowzad - named after the town where he was found - while he was on patrol.The dog's ears had been cut off and he had been groomed for fighting. Sgt Farthing believes Nowzad, which has become the charity's figurehead, would have died if he had been left in Afghanistan.The second dog, Tali - short for Taliban - had struggled to survive after giving birth to six puppies. Just one survived.Said Sgt Fathing: "To think they have both come from one of the most remote and currently dangerous places in the world, where even human life is so cheap, where all dogs have to hunt for minute scraps to stay alive and face the daily abuse of maybe being used for dog fighting or puppy breeding and even dodging military bombs, but are now living a safe and happy existence in the UK, is just mad if you really think about it."The choice of leaving them to fend for themselves was not an option. The dogs were scared, lonely and in a poor state of health. "An Afghan dog's life is not one of comfort at the best of times. Most of the day is spent hunting for scraps of food or hiding from the hot desert sun during the summer and the freezing cold of an Afghan winter night. There is no pampered pet status in Afghanistan."Nowzad and Tali were found in October 2006 and the marines, from Bickleigh Barracks, near Plymouth, smuggled them out of Afghanistan by hiding them in the back of the trucks.The dogs spent six months in quarantine before they were allowed to live in Exmouth.Currently, there are 20 rescued dogs in Afghanistan. It will cost about £20,000 to bring each one back to the UK.For more information about Nowzad Dogs charity visit: www.nowzaddogs.co.uk
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