If you’re the type of person who melts into a puddle of tears when people share those videos of soldiers coming home to their pets (and families), then former Royal Marine sergeant Pen Farthing is a man who owes you a box of tissues. Farthing explained in the latest installment of “CNN Hero” that when his time in Afghanistan was done, he didn’t want that to also end the chance to help the people there, and especially all of the stray cats and dogs that soldiers reportedly ran across on a daily basis. In fact, in 2006, Farthing helped break up a fight between two stray dogs, and one of them followed him back to his base. He named him Nowzad, after the town that he was serving in, and they were together until the dog recently passed away.
Nowzad’s memory lives on with the organization named for him, as Farthing and his colleagues with Nowzad Dogs not only help reunite the strays and soldiers once the latter return home, but they also run an animal shelter and clinic in Kabul. There, strays are neutered and spayed to help control the local animal population, and they’re also treated for rabies, which obviously helps the local citizens. Like most animal rescue organizations, Nowzad Dogs gets by on donations and fundraisers, but Farthing has also authored three books about the work that he has done and the stories of the dogs and cats they’ve helped along the way.
Now, about those tissues.