Pen found a tiny pup with string tied around his neck and in the early onset of mange wandering across the busy main road in Police District 6 of Kabul. Safely at the Nowzad clinic he was treated and cared for and immediately became a firm favourite with the Afghan team. Mango as he was known in the early days, was a delightfully friendly dog and we were desperate to find him his forever home.
Jamila stepped forward to be the difference for Mango and renamed him Rafiq. Here is her story;
People sometimes ask me why I adopted a dog from Afghanistan when there are so many dogs in the UK needing a new home. Well, having worked in Afghanistan it’s true that it remains very dear to my heart. I also had an Afghan dog before and when I lost him a couple of years ago, I knew I was destined to have another. But this process has not just been beneficial for me and Rafiq, the young pup formerly known as Mango, rescued by Pen from a busy road in Kabul. It has other benefits too.
Adopting a dog through Nowzad just has so many knock-on benefits in a country that needs our support after decades of conflict. It supports Nowzad’s ground-breaking animal welfare work, and raises awareness of the outreach and education programmes which are now also leading to more Afghan families adopting dogs and cats. That would have been unheard-of when I was working there some years ago. And then of course there are all the benefits for military and other personnel who have worked in Afghanistan.
Like many adopters I had qualms about shipping a dog all that way. Would it be too stressful? How would Rafiq react when I got him home? Actually, the wonderful team in Kabul kept me well informed with regular updates and photos in the weeks before Rafiq set out for his new life. His journey was facilitated by specialist animal freighters and during his transit in Dubai he was looked after by the same excellent kennels where my previous dog did much of his quarantine. The collection from the welcoming staff at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre was easy and efficient, and I was kept well informed throughout the period of his travel.
And Rafiq? Well, he hasn’t looked back, took all the changes in his stride and quickly became a minor celebrity in the village, an active seeker of treats from anyone and a wonderful ambassador for Nowzad!
So, please consider adopting a Nowzad dog (or cat). It is hugely rewarding and beneficial on so many levels.