Chris is Serving in Afghanistan
Chris a ultra marathoner is stationed in Afghanistan. While on a training run, he found and rescued some puppies. Here is his story.
(Ghar means “Mountain” in Pashto.)
17 years after 9-11, I finally got my opportunity to serve in Afghanistan. The country is beautiful, the people are very generous and kind, and the mountains are spectacular. Day after day and week after week, I would go running through the barren landscape, climbing big mountains, passing by old destroyed Soviet tanks, and getting to know the many packs of stray dogs that live off food scraps from the military base. After four months of running, I came upon this litter of four puppies living in a hole on the side of a fairly busy road. Every day or two we would look at each other and just kind of acknowledge each other’s existence. After several days, I started giving them water. Boy were they thirsty! Shortly after that, I started sneaking out some food scraps from the chow hall. Boy were they hungry! In a matter of weeks, we built a level of trust where the puppies (and the mother and father) would let me walk right up to their hole to feed them and give them water.
This went on for weeks as the puppies began to grow and start running around a bit. As I got to know the pups, I gave them nicknames; Blackie, Patches, Calico, and White Stripe. All of the puppies appeared to be in pretty good health, except for Blackie who has a severe eye infection. Days later, I realized that he was also deaf (or partially deaf) as he could never hear me walk up behind him. After sending home some pictures, a few friends urged me to find a way to save the pups. I was introduced to an organization called Nowzad.com – Winning the War for Animals. Nowzad is the only official animal shelter in the entire country of Afghanistan. When I reached out to them, they said their shelter was full, but they would see what they could do. The staff at Nowzad said, if we could find homes for the pups and raise money to cover the medical treatment and transportation cost to the US, they could take them in. Immediately, myself and a few friends created a Facebook donation page and the word began to spread. Caring friends raised over $1,100 in 2 days to get the ball rolling.
Days later Dr. Majtaba, Farid, Basir, and Juma came out to my base to rescue the puppies. It took 3 days, a bulldozer, and many hours with shovels and picks to dig into the 40-foot tunnel system the puppies were hiding in. But in the end, all four puppies were safely captured and taken back to the shelter to begin human socialization and medical care.
All four puppies have already been given homes in Northern and Southern California to people I know and trust. Now we just need to raise the money to cover the costs of their medical care, food, supplies, and transportation to the United States.
We need to raise approximately $10,000 to cover the costs. Please consider donating whatever you can spare to this fundraising cause. Many of you will get to meet and see these very same dogs living full healthy lives in California through the four people who are adopting them.
If any donations are left over, they will be passed on to the general Nowzad fund so the staff can help other abandoned animals. Furthermore, if there is additional interest in finding homes for more Afghan puppies, I will work with Nowzad to help facilitate the effort.
The shelter and clinic is solely funded by donations. The average shelter worker makes $350-$400 per month to take care of 130 dogs, 40 cats, and several donkeys. Please consider making a donation that will truly make a difference in this war-torn country.
Thank you for caring,
If you would like to physically mail packages of dog food, treats, heartworm medication, flashlights, batteries, protective eyewear, shampoo, headlamps, etc… please contact me atfor my domestic APO address and I will arrange for the items to be picked up by the Nowzad staff in Kabul. Shipping usually takes 10-15 days to arrive from the States to my base.
To purchase items that will ship to the Nowzad shelter, go to the Nowzad Amazon Wishlist: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3Z69H1TUE259
Additional information can be found at https://www.nowzad.com/?