The Nowzad Shelter Needs Help
The Nowzad shelter, the only authorized animal shelter in Afghanistan, is facing a critical situation. As of March 2012, the land rental agreement for the shelter has been revoked and the shelter must move.
This shelter is essential for continuing soldier rescues! Animals must be received and vaccinated there. They must also be housed and cared for until funds are raised for their trips home.
Shelter Update from Pen Farthing 7-25-2011
The last four months for the charity has seen a lot of turmoil and stress for everybody involved with the Nowzad Dogs charity knowing that, through no fault of our own, we must find a new permanent home so we can continue to provide animal welfare in Afghanistan. But without doubt our biggest inspiration has come from our supporters who have rallied unselfishly to donate over half of the total goal required of the $250,000 to build the new Nowzad shelter.
From all of us here thank you – we want to make the difference – you all DO.
So many of you have has questions so we have put them to the Nowzad Dogs founder Pen Farthing to answer;
I was told that you had to move the shelter by July 2012 – have you found and bought permanent land now?
Originally we were given three months to move the shelter and that included buying new land. We soon realised it would be an impossible task in the time frame we had been given. Our Afghan team were put to task to find temporary shelter land while we searched for a suitable plot of land to buy permanently. Back in June I thought we had found the ideal spot to build the new shelter and we started negotiations but recent security incidents in that area of Kabul has deterred us from pursuing it.
So what is happening now?
The Nowzad Dogs clinic (as it is located slightly separately from the actual shelter) has been given grace to stay located where it is. So our clinic will be open as normal to provide neuter and spay operations for pets of local Afghans, emergency medical treatment of injured strays and vaccination services as required and the routine care of soldier’s companion animals.
The actual shelter is currently in the process of being relocated to a temporary facility that we can use through the winter while the process of finding and buying new land continues.
Are you still rescuing soldier’s companion animals?
Yes SIR! That is the reason we started. Right now we have several US and UK soldiers asking for assistance in rescuing a companion animal that has befriended them. We will always be there if we are asked for help!
So why are you still raising funds for the new shelter build if you are not building it yet?
The problem in the first place was that as we have no cash reserves we could not buy any land until the money had been raised. Right now we have enough money to buy new land and start the initial build – once land that matches our need has been found.
And what sort of land are you looking for?
The land must be in fairly easily accessible location for Kabul and secure enough that westerners are able to travel and operate there. It must be far enough away from local residents as not to be a problem with barking dogs – a favourite Afghan dog pastime! The land must also be big enough to house a shelter for 100 dogs (for the trap neuter release programme), our new and improved clinic, working animal paddocks, office space and accommodation / living areas for western and Afghan employees (which have to be separate due to cultural issues). Basically we need an American football field sized piece of land.
So how can we help?
The support of the Nowzad family has been amazing but we really do need it to continue so the dogs and cats with no voice but ours can have a chance. Right now we need to find operating costs for the daily running of the Nowzad shelter and clinic which includes;
• Dog food
• Staff wages
• Vaccines and medicines
• Vehicle rental
• Office costs
We also need to fund current soldier rescues to get those dogs to the US or the UK – all current rescues are listed on our donations page of the website. If you are American then please visit the Soldiers Animals Companion Fund www.sacfund.com for details of how you can donate!
We most desperately need our supporters to spread the word and tell their friends and family about the work of Nowzad and how we can make a difference in Afghanistan. Right now we only have 13,000 fans on Facebook. Why does that matter I hear you ask? If we have a strong following on Facebook we can ask companies to support us with funding for our Afghan projects in return for promoting their product or services. Please link our website from blogs and twitter – follow us when you can and re-tweet!
Please also consider buying our Nowzad merchandise to show your support and please do tell people about ‘One Dog at a Time’ if you enjoyed reading it (Please write a review on Amazon or any other bookseller – it all helps to promote Nowzad!
How about sending us your old bras (UK based only for bras) and stamps and coins! You can even donate your old car at giveacar.com
Can you display a poster or hand out newsletters for us? What about host a Nowzad Dogs slideshow or promote your own fund raising event? More details from Melissa@nowzad.com and remember we have our two big fundraisers coming soon – Las Vegas for our American supporters in Oct and Birmingham in March 2013 for our UK supporters!
Some recent FAQ’s
1. How much does it cost to rescue an animal from Afghanistan
An approximate figure for the rescue of a dog is between $3500 and $4500 (sometimes more if it is an extra-large dog), but it all depends on currency exchange rates.
A cat costs between $1800 and $2500
2. Why is it so expensive?
All of the animals we transport from Afghanistan travel registered as ‘cargo’ on the aircraft and a charged as such by the airlines. We cannot escort animals personally due to the continued visa problems we would encounter, plus fuel surcharges and taxes at the time of booking also play a part.
Costs by the airlines are determined on the dimensions of the crates the animals travel in and an increase from a 102cm crate to a 122cm crate can result in a price increase of up to a third again!
We often also have to pay for the transportation by road for animals to be brought to the safety of the shelter. We also have to take the cost of crates, (which includes getting them into Afghanistan in the first place), vaccinations, neutering, micro-chipping and feeding whilst at the shelter. And don’t forget our Afghan staff need their wages paying too!
3. How long does a rescue take?
From the time an animal arrives at the Nowzad shelter they must spend a minimum of 30 days with us. This is so that we can microchip them and meet the legal requirements of imports into the USA as well as many other countries ensuring that the animals undergo a quarantine period at the shelter. We always make sure an animal is 100% healthy before travel.
4. What happens when an animal arrives at the shelter?
Upon arrival every animal receives a thorough health check by one of our 3 Vets. All soldier/contractor rescue animals are micro-chipped on arrival and receive a rabies vaccination as well as the first of a course of shots to prevent other canine/feline diseases.
5. What is Nowzad’s vaccination protocol?
Since opening the Nowzad shelter in 2010 every animal we receive into the shelter will receive the following treatment:
1. Rabies vaccination
2. DHPPI vaccination x 3 at 2 week intervals– (Canine)
3. Blood test for Rabies antibodies 30 days after rabies vaccination if an animal is traveling to the UK or any other European Country that requires it.
4. FORCAT/TRICAT vaccination x 2 at 2 week intervals (Feline)
5. Deworming – On arrival
6. Flea and tick treatment - Monthly during the summer months, bi monthly in winter months
8. Spay/Neuter unless there is a valid medical reason why it cannot be done prior to departure.
9. Any other medical treatment that is required.
Parvo, Distemper, Rabies, Feline Distemper, Feline Leukemia and a whole host of other diseases are prevalent in Afghanistan and we pride ourselves that since opening the shelter in Sept 2010 we have not lost any soldier/contractor rescue to any of these diseases. We believe this is due to the strict quarantine each animal is placed in on arrival and the vaccination protocols we follow.
6. Are any of the Nowzad animals available for adoption?
From time to time we will receive an animal into the Nowzad shelter that has been cared for by a soldier or a contractor who cannot offer them a permanent home. In cases like this we may look for potential placements for them in the USA, UK or Canada.
We also have introduced a successful Afghan adoption program as part of our campaign to educate the local Kabul population about animals.
7. What are the animals fed on when at the shelter?
The dogs get fed on a diet of ‘soup’ mix that we formulated ourselves and we make it from a mix of meat stock from bones, rice, naan bread, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, fresh meat, lentils and chick peas.
We also add canned and dry dog food to the dog soup when we can afford to cat/dog food is very expensive in Afghanistan but it is readily available.
Our Nowzad shelter cats are fed on a diet of dry cat food as well as receiving canned food a couple of times a week.
8. How do we maintain a disease free shelter environment in Afghanistan?
Aside from our vaccination protocols all animals that come into the Nowzad shelter are placed into one of the single kennels we have in our quarantine section for 2 weeks. Most diseases will show within 2 weeks of arrival.
We also employ 3 kennel staff to clean the kennels twice daily and wash them down with disinfectant. If a sick animal is brought into us then extra cleaning/bleaching is undertaken.
Many good quality brands of disinfectant and bleach are available in Afghanistan and the use of these products is paramount to us remaining disease free.
Nowzad has dealt with many sick street animals since 2010 and to date we have ensured containment of the diseases by following protocols.
Please help us fund the new shelter so that Nowzad can continue their work for the forgotten animals of Afghanistan and for the adopted animals our soldiers value so much.
On behalf of our soldiers, and all the animals you will be helping, thank you for your support