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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Your chance to rescue the REAL dogs of war:

Your chance to rescue the REAL dogs of war: Pets saved from battlegrounds of Afghanistan that now need good homes

They are the real dogs of war saved from the battlegrounds and dust-caked streets of Afghanistan for adoption in Britain and around the world.

Some have been befriended by British soldiers on remote bases of troubled Helmand province, some rescued from rubbish tips or the rabies-threatened streets of Afghan cities and some smuggled through Taliban held-territory to the safety of the capital Kabul.

All will be treated and found homes – many of them in the UK – thanks to two remarkable British dog lovers, former Royal Marine Sergeant Pen Farthing and one-time soldier Louise Hastie - and the UK-registered animal charity Nowzad based in a suburb of the sprawling city.

It helps dozens of soldiers, aid workers and diplomats who befriend dogs during their deployments to Afghanistan take them home as pets with the backing of animal lovers in Britain and around the world who have provided hundreds of thousands of pounds in support.

‘A special bond can build between a soldier and dog in the most intense, dangerous and difficult of conditions,’ said Louise, 40, from Wolverhampton.

‘They are thousands of miles from home, people are shooting at them and they can become lonely – 10 minutes a day stroking or talking to a dog relieves stress, it is a medically proven fact.

‘The dogs walk around the base areas and are befriended by the soldiers, the dogs have never known kindness and a special bond develops. It becomes very difficult to leave behind an animal that has become a friend.

‘There have even been a number of instances where the dogs have saved the lives of the soldiers by alerting them to an insurgent presence and explosives, there are real bonds built which the soldiers don’t want to break.’

He added : ‘We're seeing more soldier rescues than ever before. When you're being shot at by the Taliban every day, dogs give you that little bit of normality.’

Yesterday Louise was preparing for the return of eight month old Chegwin and Tamera to the UK so the bond with the soldier that had found them scavenging as puppies and rescued them from Afghan soldiers thrown stones before becoming ‘smitten’ by a ‘ball of muck and matted fur’ and adopting them on their base can continue in the UK.

While home in Britain on leave, the soldier had realised he had ‘wanted to bring the dogs home with me…I missed then too much’ – something Louise says happens often.

‘People realise they can’t leave the dogs behind, they have shared something special together and they don’t want it to end.’

Source: DailyMail/ David Williams/ June 3

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Photo: Joe who was almost dead when he reached the shelter, but is now making a good recovery

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