Team Nowzad win award months after Afghanistan rescue operation

Team Nowzad win award months after Afghanistan rescue operation

The Nowzad charity team and Pen Farthing have won the Team Award at the inaugural Naturo SuperDog Awards 2021, hosted by TV presenter and media personality Stacey Dooley. 

Founded by former Royal Marine Pen Farthing, Nowzad worked to rescue and rehabilitate stray dogs and cats in Kabul, as well as reuniting them with military personnel who cared for them during their stay in Afghanistan. As Kabul fell to the Taliban in August, massive efforts were made to bring the charity workers to safety along with the animals in their care.

Though at first Pen Farthing was forced to leave Afghanistan alone with their rescue animals, leaving behind the rest of the team of Afghan nationals, news came the following month that the Nowzad team had made it to safety in Pakistan along with their families.

Television presenter Stacey Dooley on stage with all the winners and finalists at the Naturo SuperDog Awards 2021

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab commented at the time, “Pleased that Nowzad’s Afghan staff, who were called for evacuation, successfully crossed the border into Pakistan. We look forward to welcoming them to the UK in the coming days.”

Marking their first official appearance in the UK, the team has now received the Team Award as 2021’s best “group, organisation or charity working to improve dogs’ lives”.

Pen Farthing commented, “The team never wanted to leave Afghanistan and sadly they were forced into that. But to be here now tonight, stood here and receiving an award – I don’t have words for it. 

“I just remember those thousands of dogs that are in still in Afghanistan, and they need help. These cases are very normal, and I just remember all the dogs that we had to leave behind.”

Mila Moo picks up the survivor award at the Naturo SuperDog Awards 2021

Others winners included Mila Moo, who lived against all odds with an open fracture to her skull, as Survivor; Henry the Hedgehog detection dog, who works with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to sniff out hedgehogs and keep them safe, as Worker; Jordan Shelley, who campaigned to ban the import of dogs with cropped ears in the UK, as Campaigner; and late Lucy, the rescue Cavalier who became the face of Lucy’s Law, as SuperDog.

Images courtesy of Naturo SuperDog Awards

Alessandra Pacelli

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