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Pen Farthing & Hannah Surowinski, Directors
Pen with Nowzad

The Nowzad charity was formed in 2007 after Royal Marine Commando Sergeant Pen Farthing took matters into his own hands.  He stopped an organised dog fight that was taking place within his unit's remote operating base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Rescuing one particular dog named Nowzad from this fight was the inspiration for the charity.  


Like Pen, often when brave men and women are serving in a war zone they find themselves adopting one of the many stray dogs or cats that are struggling to survive there. Nowzad arrange for their beloved adopted animal to safely get to their clinic, where they provide them with shelter and care, and prepare them for their journey to their new country and home. To date they have helped soldiers rescue over 1,200 companion animals from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and Libya and relocate them to USA, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Jordan Thailand and South Africa.


Nowzad operates the first-ever animal shelter and clinic in Afghanistan and proudly employs three female Afghan nationals who are the first to have qualified as veterinarians. The charity is determined to humanely reduce the stray dog and cat population, to fight the spread of rabies and to improve the general welfare of animals. They do this either through their Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return Scheme (TNVR) or their lifetime care or adoption programme, for those dogs who can no longer survive on the streets. All of this is provided by dedicated employees and volunteers working at the clinic and shelter, as well as those in the mobile unit who provide veterinary care to animals in migrant settlements in the vicinity. Through this community work Nowzad recognised a greater need and increased the variety of animals in their care. They now operate the first donkey sanctuary in Afghanistan where they care for eight donkeys, as well as other working animals including a cow and horses.  

What Nowzad does

  • ​Reunites unofficially adopted dogs and cats with servicemen in their home countries

  • Promote humane dog and cat control via rabies vaccination programmes​​

  • Deliver migrant camp disease prevention services for farm animals such cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, and chickens, as well as for dogs and cats living in the local area​

  • Promote working donkey welfare via education programmes and the establishment of the first donkey sanctuary in Afghanistan​

  • Deliver practical education packages for veterinary students in Kabul​

  • Operate a working clinic providing first class care and treatment to the companion animals of Afghans as well as strays

How Olsen Animal Trust helps

  • Sponsors Nowzad's community work enabling the delivery of effective disease-prevention, vaccination, general animal care, and education programmes to six migrant settlements 

  • Provided funds for the construction of a purpose-built stable and rehabilitation facility for sick and injured donkeys and a safe, secure and peaceful environment

  • Funded a quarantine and isolation unit at the Nowzad clinic in Kabul to ensure that contagious animals can be treated more effectively without the constant hazard of infecting and endangering other animals in their care 

Project Images - hover over for details

The dog shelter
Cadence and Caba
Dr Mujtaba and Jalala
Vet student training
Cats in the clinic
Quarantine clinic
Pen at the first donkey sanctuary in Afghan
Trap Neuter Vaccine Return Scheme (TNVR) 
Teenage Dog Training
Hogan enjoying life in the UK
Jamila happy in her new home
Migrant Camp Disease Prevention

For further information on the work of Nowzad please visit

 © Olsen Animal Trust, Nowzad  All rights reserved
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