Hi friends! This past weekend I got to meet Mom’s friends, Mr. Penn (Farthing) and Ms. Hannah from the Nowzad group. I bet you guys don’t know about them so I really wanted to do this post and give you some information about a dedicated international animal welfare group who aren’t fighting the dog meat trade!

The nonprofit group, Nowzad Dogs, is located in Kabul, Afghanistan. They are the only official Afghan government recognized and sanctioned animal rescue shelter in Afghanistan. Their aim is to improve the welfare of animals which includes humanely reducing the stray dog population (simultaneously reducing the spread of canine rabies which is common there), to provide animal welfare education to the Afghan people and to develop training programs to improve the lives of working animals.

They aid and support the stray and abandoned animals by providing rescue and veterinary treatment (with 2 licensed veterinarians and 9 shelter staff) and are reducing the number of unwanted animals and disease through their humane sterilization and vaccination programs (remember me telling you the simple KEY to eliminating some of the animal welfare issues is through effective spay and neuter programs?!). They also support a small but very successful and effective TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release) program which they ultimately want to apply to the whole of Kabul. For working animals such as horses, they are training their vets to develop a working equines treatment, injury prevention and education program. They also continue to help soldiers rescue animals that they have adopted during their tour serving on the front lines. In fact, before coming to the Pet Expo, they brought a dog over to Texas to reunite with a soldier. They have reunited over 650 dogs and cats with their serving soldiers all over the world!

Their education program is focused on the younger generation and teaching them the basics of animal welfare (campaigns like “Kick a Ball Not a Puppy” – remember, you must teach this for these children simply do not intrinsically understand), teaching that dog fighting is not a sport and is in fact hurtful for the dog (dog fighting is a very popular trade there and is often far worse then what we see in the States), teaching that stray dogs and cats carry disease (as this is prevalent there as opposed to more developed nations), and teaching how to care for the working animals and understand that these animals are sentient beings as well. Their goal from this is that more and more homes will begin to welcome healthy and treated dogs and cats into their homes and provide them with the love they deserve.

If you want to learn more about them, Mr. Penn has written two best-selling books highlighting the animals in Afghanistan and the work of the charity: One Dog at a Time and No Place Like Home. Mr. Penn and Ms. Hannah are very kind and well informed people. They completely support my efforts to raise awareness on animal welfare issues and especially the dog and cat meat trade. I would highly recommend following them on Facebook and watching their progress! www.facebook.com/nowzadrescue