A message from Founder Pen Farthing; ‘This story demonstrates why I am so proud of the Nowzad team, especially those in Kabul at the Nowzad clinic, for everything they have achieved. Religion and culture are put to one side as we are united by our determination to make a difference for the welfare of animals.
And of course, I cannot forget our amazing supporters whose donations have made it all possible for us to be there for the dogs you will read about below. Thank you’.
Remember that under the marvellous CNN donation programme Subaru will match YOUR donation via this link to help us help the animals with no voice but ours in Afghanistan;
Over the years the Nowzad shelter and clinic has been in operation we have seen our fair share of dogs and cats that have ended up with permanent disabilities.
Our first case of this was actually a cat called Roadrunner, he had been hit by a car and when his owner brought him sadly there was little we could do to save his leg, however Roadrunner made a fast recovery and was soon every bit as fast as a cat with 4 legs.
Then we found two dogs, who for reasons unknown, only had three legs. Peggy, who now lives in Scotland and LJ. We sadly lost LJ on the operating table trying to finish the surgery on the already partially amputated leg that someone else had done incorrectly.
And then there is Raj the German Shepard who is now a resident of the USA and Penny dog the stray who was found with a very old break in her back leg which we will probably leave as she gets along just fine at the moment. And we could not forget Troy who again had a very old break in his back leg but being very active and happy we have decided to leave be.
Each year we see more and more animals with injuries that cannot be fixed with any treatment other than amputation, this year has been no exception and in a very short space of time we received several of them together.
First came Whitey, she had been run over by an armoured vehicle and both legs were broken. We tried in vain to save both legs but it was not to be and we had to amputate her left rear leg and hope we could save the right rear leg for her to have a good quality of life. Many weeks’ of regular daily dressing changes followed, we were unable to pin or plate the leg as it was too badly damaged so we placed the leg in a cast in a stable position.
The leg did heal fairly well and although it will never look normal she is in fact able to use the leg pretty well to get around but as luck would have it the fabulous Jim from dogswheels.co.uk stepped up. Her personally made wheel chaired arrived thanks to Jim and Whitey now has spends hours in her chair tearing round the clinic.
Next came Monty who had a broken pelvis, he was found in the street by an Afghan man who called us out in the middle of the night to help him. Monty recovered enough to be able to walk reasonably well but when he is tired he has a tendency to drag himself. He was left with permanent nerve damage in his lower back/pelvic region which means he will never be able to walk normally without help so Jim at dogwheels.co.uk also provided him with a wheelchair for extra support.
Just as we thought we had done with the disabled dogs we were alerted to Mazar, a dog that had spent 3 years on the streets of Mazar e Sharif in Northern Afghanistan with both of his back legs broken. Thankfully though the poor lad was able to scuttle around as fast as lighting using his front two legs in a sort of half nelson move!
Unbelievably he had found his way to a local vet lab there and the staff had done what they could to help him but with limited resources there was nothing more that they could do. We arranged for Mazar to be transported to the Nowzad clinic in Kabul where Dr Mohammad from Mayhew International managed the incredibly complicated surgery that was needed to remove both legs. Normally we would have considered euthanising a dog like Mazar who had lost the use of both back legs because of the very limited resources we have, but as Mazar he had survived 3 years on the streets we really wanted to do our best and make a good life for him.
The surgery to remove both of his back legs was a complete success and within a few days he was back to normal and getting himself around by lifting his body up onto his front legs and scuttling along. Once again Jim at dogswheels stepped up and made him a wheelchair which he uses for several hours a day.
At around the same time Mazar came in we also got Anita. Again she had been found lying paralyzed at the side of the road by an Afghan man. He could she needed help and despite the fact she was in a lot of pain and was aggressive he picked her up and brought her into the clinic. We immediately got to work finding out what was wrong and despite her wanting to eat us all in the initial few weeks she eventually started to trust us and slowly started to regain the use of her legs. As time has progressed she has become somewhat of a character, she is wary of new people but adores the clinic staff and she is able to get around incredibly well. She still has some weakness in her hind quarters but each day she gets more and more steady and she runs and plays with Whitey, Monty and Mazar albeit she sometimes falls over!
Whitey, Monty, Mazar and Anita keep the entire staff on their toes, they love playing and they adore people coming into the clinic to see them and will very quickly make it known that they are special and therefore all that meet them must love them! They have all overcome massive injuries that at one time would have resulted in them being euthanised but with time, effort and love they all now have the chance to live full and happy lives.