The situation in Kabul is now more than critical becoming minutes after minutes seriously dangerous for all those who are on site. Not only humans are risking their life, but also thousands of animals.
In the capital, the association Kabul Small Animal Rescue directed by the U.S. citizen Charlotte Maxwell-Jones is working relentlessly trying to evacuate safely the organization’s staff, their families and approximately 250 dog and cats by the end of the month.
The association, founded in 2018 as veterinary clinic and animal rescue organization, is still active working daily to rescue strays and abandoned pets and provide veterinary services. They have recently helped American troops bring home cats and dogs from Afghanistan after their deployments.
Aug. 31 is the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. army, after that date no hope of getting out from there is granted.
The rescue organization’s crew is part of a massive exodus from Afghanistan after the Taliban took forceful control of the country a week ago. What has followed has been a chaotic effort by the U.S. and its allies to evacuate citizens and to repatriate at-risk Afghans. Thousands have rushed to Kabul airport in an attempt to flee, but many pets have been left behind because evacuation flights didn’t allow animals.
Charlotte was recently warned by Taliban to leave the country but she doesn’t intend to go until she’s certain that all the organization’s staff and the animals will be securely evacuated.
The rescue has received some $700,000 in donations over the past week through online sites, grants and smaller fundraisers to be used for chartered flight, but the price and logistic issues continue to increase. Actually, the plane and the staff permits have been sorted, but to leave Kabul with all the animals it is necessary to get a landing permit for them.
The biggest issue is in fact finding a third country that will allow a plane carrying animals to land. All the animals the association is trying to evacuate have paperwork to enter the U.S., but all of its Afghan staffers have applied for P1 visas, which require applicants to be vetted in a third country.
OIPA International has written to the U.S. Government (Lending permit for animals of Kabul Small Animal Rescue) asking to secure this landing permit and guarantee the safe passage from Kabul airport to U.S. (the final destination) for saving the life of all those humans and animals.
Charlotte said: “It is likely that most of our staff will be allowed to move before the animals, because the US military will not grant a landing permit for a plane whose only manifest is animals, and for reasons involving visa and animal regulations, we can’t get them to the same destination at the same time. We will keep with us a small contingent of staff to help us get through the interim period, myself included.”
HOW TO HELP
- Push for a landing permit for animals posting on your social accounts
- KSAR needs continued help fundraising, because we they are still working on charter flight options for both their staff and animals (all their animals will need to be boarded and then further transported to their adopters, fosters, owners, and rescues. Fundraisers can be found:
(Photo credits: Kabul Small Animal Rescue)