Howard had been found by Clare’s father, Captain Alan Barker who is currently stationed in Afghanistan. Howard, a young and playful black cat was found suffering from an injury sustained from trapping and was in desperate need of urgent care. After initially cleaning his wounds, Alan took him to Nowzad animal sanctuary near Kabul to be treated and cared for until he fully recovered.
Since rescuing Howard (named after Alan’s old unit ‘The Green Howards’), Alan was determined to raise the funds to bring him back to the UK, to live with his other cat who he rescued while stationed in Cyprus four years ago. A JustGiving page was set up to raise £2,000 to pay for a passport and the necessary checks Howard needed to take him away from an uncertain life in Afghanistan.
Almost half the funds had been raised to bring him home, when after hearing about his plight, Animal Friends Managing Director Elaine Fairfax immediately offered to pay the remaining balance of £1111.38 to help Howard start a new, happier and healthier life in the UK.
Captain Alan Barker said: “working and living in Afghanistan at the best of times can be quite difficult and animals take a very low priority in existence over here. Whilst being here, I have witnessed unnecessary cruelty to so many animals, so when the opportunity to help this young cat came along, I felt very strongly that I had to try and do something. Chris and Elaine’s support has meant the difference between life and death for Howard. The generosity of some people and organisations like theirs has been so inspirational.”
Pen Farthing, founder and chairman of Nowzad Dogs said: “to be able to support the reuniting of a soldier with the companion animal they adopted on the frontlines in Afghanistan is an enormous feeling of ‘mission accomplished’ for all the team at Nowzad Dogs. From our clinic and shelter staff in Afghanistan to the office staff in the UK and US and our fantastic supporters who fund every rescue that comes through our door – thank you so much.”
Howard is now set to be in his new home in the UK with Alan in four months’ time.