Afghanistan: Pen Farthing and dogs will board flight from Kabul airport

Pen Farthing refused to leave the country without his rescue dogs (Picture: @PenFarthing)

A former Royal Marine who founded an animal shelter in Kabul has made it through the airport’s security with his dogs and is awaiting an evacuation flight.

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing’s campaign to get his staff and animals from the Nowzad shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace complained some of his more militant supporters had ‘taken up too much time’ of senior commanders.

Although visas were granted for his 24 staff and their dependents, Pen refused to leave without his pets and is aiming to get 200 dogs and cats out of the country.

It was feared he’d run out of time to make it out of the country as the UK wound down its evacuation mission today.

His ‘Operation Ark’ campaign became hugely successful on social media but Mr Wallace complained it was distracting those focusing on evacuating the most vulnerable.

However today the Ministry of Defence announced Pen and his animals were on the brink of escape.

In a tweet, the MoD said: ‘Pen Farthing and his pets were assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK Armed Forces. They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation.

‘On the direction of the Defence Secretary, clearance for their charter flight has been sponsored by the UK Government.’

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