Puppy left abandoned in Afghanistan miraculously rescued thanks to volunteer

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Rowan, who was just a few weeks old and without her mother, was spotted by Rick Kent, who at the time was serving as an animal rescue volunteer with the UK National Crime Agency. Taking the helpless dog back to where he was stationed, Rowan quickly became a popular member with residents and was raised by Rick, even having a small pet house made just for her.

Rick said: “She was spotted walking up the side of the road outside our base in the middle of nowhere, lost and calling out. She was no more than a few weeks old, but already a real character and survivor.

“The first thing she needed after being picked up was a bath and a good meal and drink. The base then became her home and myself and my colleagues became her family.”

Despite their instant bond, Rick already had two pet dogs in the UK and with work commitments in Afghanistan, the animal lover made the tough decision to have Rowan rehomed.

The RSPCA volunteer added: “From the first moment I met her, she adopted me. From a puppy her whole life was with me and colleagues inside the base and she became quite a character with everyone.

“However for her future and welfare there were of course ongoing concerns given we were never sure how long our deployment would continue.”

To help find the canine the perfect home, Rick, who is also the trustee and branch secretary at RSPCA Middlesex North West & South Hertfordshire Branch, managed to secure an emergency grant with Kabul-based animal charity Nowzad.

The dog charity was created by Pen Farthing, a former British Royal Marines commando who works to relieve the abandoned and suffering animals in Afghanistan.

Celebrities Dame Judi Dench and Ricky Gervais have also thrown their support for Nowzad who also aims to raise awareness of the importance of educating people on animal care and welfare.

The team were able to help Rick and his colleagues get Rowan prepared for her new life in the UK, where she was shipped to Dubai and then onward to London Heathrow.

Nowzad also helped provide vet support for the young dog, covering her blood tests, spaying operation and medications, to allow into the UK without quarantine.

Speaking about Nowzad, Rick said: “Their experience and understanding of the logistics were invaluable and the reality is that without them it would have simply not been possible to get Rowan to the UK.”

After reaching out to a friend, Rowan is now adopted by a family who quickly settled into life on a farm, thanks to the joint effort of Rick and Nowzad.

Rick said: “Every time I see Rowan, her welcome and smile always reminds me of why she adopted me. She has such a passion for life.

“I can’t express enough my thanks to Nowzad for helping with Rowan when I was in Afghanistan and then getting her to the UK.

“Hopefully Nowzad’s efforts will continue well past the challenges of the immediate developments and so any support, particularly through donations, are welcomed.”

To make a donation to Nowzad, visit their website.

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