Hundreds of Afghan pets are flown to Canada to find homes and reunite with their families.
Following the withdrawal of US military troops from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, a collection of animal rescues and organizations recently evacuated 285 abandoned dogs and cats as part of an international rescue mission.
According to an SPCAI press release, SPCA International (SPCAI) and its partners, Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), War Paws, Marley's Mutts, RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, and Thank DOG I Am Out Rescue Society, transported 154 dogs and 131 cats left behind by those who evacuated following the troop withdrawal via private plane to Vancouver, Canada on Feb. 1.
We are delighted to report that the animals have arrived safely in Vancouver, Canada, after a long journey, and are enjoying some well-deserved relaxation, said Lori Kalef, director of programs at SPCA International, in a statement.
The animals are happy, healthy, and ready to find their permanent homes or be reunited with their families, she added.
The pets were left behind after their owners fled Afghanistan amid instability following the withdrawal of US forces. An explosion at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul had jeopardized previous attempts to move the animals, resulting in increasing flying prices, airline limits, and permit procedures, according to the news release.
In addition, the rescue expedition had to be rerouted via Canada after the CDC suspended the importation of dogs into the United States from more than 100 nations thought to be at high risk of rabies, preventing the animals from being taken directly to the United States.
Thanks to the rescue mission, a public affairs civilian in the United States Air Force who had to leave his cat Tay Tay behind in August, pet parents who had to leave their cat Barfi behind in August, and an Afghan refugee family who couldn't bring their two cats with them when they left Afghanistan have all been reunited with their beloved pets.
Zach Skow, the founder of Marley's Mutts, said, We believe firmly in giving animals second chances and couldn't be happier for the hundreds of dogs and cats who will now have theirs.
Since arriving in Canada, the animals have been housed in a temporary shelter until being adopted or reunited with their prior owners.
No Dogs Left Behind, Rosier Days Dog Rescue, Cats Cradle Animal Rescue, and Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders are among the Canadian rescues that have helped by providing foster homes for some of the dogs and cats.
Visit the SPCA International contribution website to contribute to the organization's rescue operations.