Go ahead and get the Kleenex.
The Animal Planet show ‘Dodo Heroes’ featured the former dogs of Afghanistan veterans being reunited with their original owners stateside.
Animal Planet’s “Dodo Heroes” highlights those who go to great lengths to save, protect, and rehabilitate animals — and this Saturday’s subject Pen Farthing takes that “heroes” part of the show title to a whole new level.
The man, who as a Royal Marine used to spend his days saving humans in war-torn Afghanistan, now spends them saving dogs (and cats, and donkeys, and now a horse) there. But Farthing is still saving soldiers in a way, as his mission through his charity Nowzad — named after his own pooch from the war zone — is to reunite American military personnel with their unofficially adopted local four (and sometimes three)-legged friends.
The lengths that Farthing and his organization go through to export these forgotten street dogs from Afghanistan to their specific soldier in the United States is remarkable — as is the cost. TheWrap spoke with Farthing about his very worthy, dangerous, and inspirational mission, which readers can catch a glimpse of above via our exclusive sneak peek. They can watch much more this Saturday night at 9/8c on Animal Planet.
TheWrap: How did you smuggle Nowzad out of Afghanistan?
Pen Farthing: As the military have a clear “no feral animals” policy, I was left with no choice but to seek local Afghan assistance in transporting Nowzad across extremely dangerous terrain — almost certainly controlled by the Taliban — a journey of over 300 miles from our forward operating base in the town of Nowzad to the capital Kabul.
I had no idea whether the journey would be a success. I had to completely put my trust in an Afghan taxi driver I had only just met. For all I knew he could have driven down the road; kicked the dogs out and kept my money. But he was a true man of his word and delivered Nowzad to Kabul.
I could not bear to leave Nowzad behind when I returned to the U.K. but the success of it all was out of my hands. For whatever reason, everything came together — against the odds. Nowzad arrived in England on June 24, 2007.