I have tried not to get absorbed by the news in recent weeks and have kept myself in my bubble as much as possible however, I have been trying to share news and fundraising pages for War Paws and Kabul Small Animal Rescue. Therefore, I see the updates about what has been happening.
Fortunately, many thousands of people have been able to safely flee however, so many more people have been left behind. Meanwhile, those that have been able to flee had to make the heart-breaking decision to leave behind their pets with some scrambling against the odds to hand them over to rescue centres in the hope that they would at least be looked after during this horrendous time.
I imagine many others share my frustration and heartache about what is happening in Kabul, and I will never understand why people and animals have not been allowed to flee if they want to.
Whilst Pen Farthing (the founder of Nowzad animal shelter in Kabul) managed to leave Kabul with his animals, his staff and their families did not. Nor were the staff or animals of Kabul Small Animal Rescue. Why not? Surely if a flight had been organised to rescue Pen Farthing and his animals this should have also accommodated others (both human and animals).
The whole situation seems bizarre and barbaric as to who has and has not been ‘allowed’ to flee despite apparent support from most nations throughout the world.
I had made the decision not to write about this situation until I read a devastating update from SPCA (Global Animal Rescue) regarding Kabul Small Animal Rescue and its founder, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones.
Charlotte had been waiting at the airport with 130 dogs as well as the shelter’s staff for days, hoping that they would be able to get on a rescue flight. The ‘good’ news is that nobody was hurt during the bombing that has taken place, however, the heart-breaking news is that Charlotte was forced to leave the airport with only one disabled puppy under her arm. Whilst waiting at the airport Charlotte rescued 46 working dogs alongside personal pets belonging to fleeing Americans whilst she was repeatedly left behind.
As it stands, we do not have any information about the current where abouts of the animals that Charlotte had rescued other than that they were never allowed to board military aircraft, numerous private charter aircraft nor the flight that SPCA had secured to transport the animals and Charlotte out of the country. Consequently, most of the animals were released when the airport was evacuated, meaning all these once rescued animals are now homeless.
In such unprecedented times and given Joe Bidens supposed love of animals, I am at a loss as to why according to SPCA the U.S suspended transport of dogs from Afghanistan despite the SPCA applying for an emergency exemption.
There was me thinking it was out of our hands as to why Charlotte and her animals had not been rescued, yet it would appear that, despite animal rescue groups and support of generous individuals who had managed to pay for and organise a charter flight, it was also down to the U.S suspending transportation of these animals.
I am aware that there are always things going on behind closed doors that we are not aware of and that the news doesn’t always truly inform us of what is actually happening, however, if what SPCA is saying is true then I am disappointed that Joe Biden has not allowed dogs from Afghanistan to enter the U.S.
I am deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of Charlotte Maxwell-Jones as a female left on her own in Kabul. I admire her dedication and loyalty to the rescue animals; I think she is heroic for everything she has done and continues to do. I can only imagine how she must feel right now. I sincerely hope that someone somewhere can help Charlotte leave safely.