Pen Farthing Says Most Of The Animals Rescued From Afghanistan Have UK Homes Lined Up
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The former Royal Marine who evacuated 173 cats and dogs from Afghanistan has said most of the animals already have new homes waiting for them.
Paul Farthing - known as Pen - and his animals landed at Heathrow yesterday following his campaign for the animals from his Nowzad rescue centre to be safely evacuated.
Farthing had also campaigned for his staff and their families to be evacuated, however, that sadly wasn't possible.
The news of his successful evacuation was confirmed by Farting's charity Nowzad, which said: "We are relieved to confirm that Pen and the Nowzad animals [have] left Afghanistan and are now safe.
Arrived Heathrow with partial success of #OpArk Mixed emotions & true deep feeling of sadness for Afghan today. Heathrow Ops centre, Border Force, HARC & Air Pets were all bloody amazing. Witnessed 1st hand the compassion Heathrow is showing Afghan refugees. :pray::heart:#AboveAndBeyond- Pen Farthing (@PenFarthing) August 29, 2021
"However, we still have much to do as our wonderful team in Kabul were not allowed through the final barrier.
"It was a devastating blow to us. We are now working extremely hard to get them evacuated and will not rest until they too are safe.
"Our thoughts for now are with our staff and the many people and animals who have also been left behind.
"We will do our utmost to help them."
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Farthing has now confirmed that despite only just touching down, the majority of the animals have homes lined up.
Farthing, who was met by a team of vets when he stepped off the plane, told the news outlet: "As the animals came off on the tarmac at Heathrow, I think they were shocked and stressed after that journey, but as they were coming off, I hope they knew they were going to somewhere safe.
"A lot of the animals are already adopted. We are not short of offers so I don't think we will have much trouble rehoming the rest."
The animals have now been placed into the care of animal welfare experts, but sadly five cats died during the first leg of their journey home.
It had previously been reported that Farthing's animals would need to be quarantined and any carrying disease put to sleep.
However, vet Dr Iain McGill has said he had examined 'more than 150 healthy dogs and cats from Nowzad in Kabul'.
Farthing has previously spoken at the heartache he felt having to leave his staff behind.
He told The Sun: "It is just so depressing I had to leave them behind.
"Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren't allowed to cross the line from Taliban to British control.
"There were lots of tears when we said goodbye.
"I feel so many things. I feel very sad for them [but] I'm relieved for me and I feel happy for the animals."