Our Mission

The Nowzad mission statement is;

'To relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan; including companion animals, working equines, stray and abandoned dogs and cats and all other animals in need of care and attention, and to provide and maintain rescue, rehabilitation and education facilities for the care and treatment of such animals with no voice but ours'

Our work in Afghanistan to make a difference for all the dogs, cats and other animals with no voice but ours started from one man’s efforts to make a difference for one dog at a time in a place that was back then described as the most dangerous place on Earth... Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

In November 2006 the men of Kilo Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines arrived in the war torn town of 'Now Zad' in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Their mission; provide stability for the local people during a period of ever decreasing security.

The Royal Marines soon realised that it wasn’t only the local people that needed their help. Many of the stray dogs that roamed the town of ‘Now Zad’ now had a guardian for the first time in their lives; in the form of Royal Marine Sergeant 'Pen' Farthing.

Breaking up an organised dog fight that was taking place right outside their remote compound, Pen never realised that one of those fighting dogs would then befriend him.

The Royal Marine Sergeant couldn’t say no to those big sad eyes and the now former fighting dog became the Sergeants battle buddy. The dog received his first ever name – "Nowzad".

One Dog at a TimeThe 'tail' of the rescue of Nowzad and his other canine buddies from the remote desert outpost of Now Zad, was published as a best-selling book ‘One Dog at a Time’, which to this day helps to promote and fund the work we do in Afghanistan.


TODAYwe have reunited over 850 soldiers with the dogs and cats that they rescue and bond with on the front lines in Afghanistan and we continue to be there for the brave men and women who show compassion to animals during their deployment.

Nowzad operates the only official animal shelter in the whole of Afghanistan and is supported by a modern veterinary clinic staffed by a team of Afghan nationals delivering care and attention to animals in distress. Our vital work in Afghanistan now includes animal welfare education and the prevention of the spread of rabies.

The charity has fantastic support from animal lovers the world over, who have offered their time in promoting and funding the aims of the charity. Every donation we receive is much appreciated and makes a big impact in our work for the animals with no voice but ours. Please complete the form on this page if you would like to be added to our newsletter mailing list? (we do NOT sell on your details to anyone!).

Pen and Nowzad in Helmand

Lexi minutes after being rescued

Our Sheltor