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Afghan fighting dog finds new home in UK

A MARINE who rescued starving stray dogs while on duty in Afghanistan joined animal lovers in Hampstead, North London to raise money for animals traumatised by war.

Sergeant ‘Penny’ Farthing dropped in to the charity lunch in Hampstead thrown by animal welfare campaigner Ang-ela Humphrey to tell guests about his adopted German Shepherd-cross Nowzad, one of many dogs in Afghanistan being groomed for brutal dog fights.

Nowzad had had his tail and ears cut off and was being made to fight for sport when the concerned soldier saved him from certain death in November 2006.

Sgt Farthing, 38, said: ‘When I first got there and saw all the packs of wild and stray dogs I felt quite helpless. ‘I had a job to do and I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything for them.’

‘But when the locals tried to organise a dogfight in our camp I knew I had to act.

Nowzad is absolutely fantastic. He was never a vicious dog; he just needed food and love.
‘If I’m drafted back to Afghanistan I’ll always keep one eye out for the dogs.’

Nowzad is now currently in quarantine in the UK, and is due to be reunited with his master in Bristol on Christmas Eve.

The cause was supported by The Mayhew Animal Home, whose shelter in Harrow Road takes in animals from across Camden. They have also been working internationally to save animals in Afghan-istan since the war began.

At the end of a record-breaking day of donations, Mrs Humphrey presented the Mayhew shelter with a cheque for £1,843 which will pay for Nowzad’s quarantine.

The gala fund-raiser was the fifteenth such event in five years for 76-year-old campaigner Mrs Humphrey, who supports 50 different animal charities.

She has raised more than £20,000 for horses in Egypt, donkeys in Darfur, elephants in Sri Lanka, tigers in India, Moon Bears in China, greyhounds in Spain and farm animals transported long distances for slaughter.

Mrs Humphrey said: ‘Animals are at the bottom of the heap and they can’t speak up for themselves.

‘They are exploited the world over by human beings, either for sport, the meat trade, fur or zoos, and it is up to us to help our fellow creatures.’