300 cats and dogs from Afghanistan coming to DMV to find forever homes – WUSA9.com

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Kabul Small Animal Rescue said once the pets land, they will be transported to rescues across the United States including around 20 in our area

KABUL, Afghanistan — Three hundred pets are getting ready to fly from the Middle East to right here in the DMV and some are still looking for a permanent home.

Kabul Small Animal Rescue, a shelter and veterinary clinic in Afghanistan, is taking on that challenge.

“The logistics and ground handling of getting 300 animals through decent security processes, in a timely fashion, here is difficult,” said Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, the founder and director of Kabul Small Animal Rescue.

“I came here in 2010 to do my PhD dissertation research, it was on Afghan archaeology,” she said. “After that, I went into a lot of consulting research and was the research director for a political think tank during the withdrawal. This had always been a bit of a side job, and it’s taken over.”

Maxwell-Jones, who’s from Tennessee, opened the nonprofit about five years ago.

“We have we have a really, really strong supporter base and I think we’ve earned it,” she said. “We have 92 staff here on the ground full time, we have 15 additional airlift prep staff. We’re a 24/7 Animal Hospital, we have five veterinarians on staff, 10 vet techs. We work really, really hard and we’re a force for animal welfare here.”

Right now, Maxwell-Jones’s rescue is full.

“We want to continue as a rescue here and we can’t keep our doors open if we can’t home anybody,” she said. “A lot of our animals can’t be rehabbed here, or we can’t just release them onto the street. There are a lot that were raised since infancy with us, or we have a lot of tripods and one-eyed, three-legged dogs, they’re not going to survive here. It’s a way of being for us to be sustainable going forward.”

To help lower the number of pets at Kabul Animal Rescue, Maxwell-Jones and her team raised over $820,000 in three months to charter a cargo plane from Afghanistan to Dulles International. The flight is expected to land in the United States early Monday morning.

In less than four days, we’re loading these lovely babies and many more on a B767 freighter plane and flying first to…

Posted by Kabul Small Animal Rescue on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Maxwell-Jones said most of the people adopting from her rescue are American, and she knows overcrowding at animal shelters in the United States is an issue.

“A lot of the people that will adopt an Afghan animal are not necessarily people that would adopt otherwise,” said Maxwell-Jones. “It’s not necessarily taking up the same pool of adopters, but I also think that when an animal rescue does get attention like this, it’s good for animal rescue at large. It brings more attention to it. People do want to step up and donate and foster and adopt.”

Maxwell-Jones said before, during and after the journey, there are multiple boxes that need to be checked.

“There’s between five and 20 different forms per animal,” she said. “All of them need to be photocopied in triplicate and signed by a variety of authorities here and at our refueling stop in Europe, as well as the CDC and the USDA.”

Twelve cats will be sent to a rescue in Canada, the rest of the dogs and cats will be sent to rescues across the United States including 70 pets headed to around 20 rescues in the DMV like PetConnect Rescue.

“The magnitude, the amount of people and help this has generated. I mean, we are talking thousands of people that are involved in this between,” said Robin Turner, a volunteer with PetConnect Rescue that helped coordinate the transportation of pets once they arrive.

In three days, we will be mobilizing to load our animals and start the enormous convoy to the Kabul airport. There is…

Posted by Kabul Small Animal Rescue on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

She said these pets, especially dogs, will need to adjust to their new homes.

“Somebody asked the other day, what language do they listen to? And I think Charlotte’s response was they’re going to need to learn commands regardless,” said Turner.

Most importantly, they’ll all hopefully find a forever home.

“They all have someplace to go when they land and we expect that, it’ll be a few months, but then they will be adopted,” said Maxwell-Jones.

Kabul Small Animal Rescue has done this once before, sending a similar number of pets to Canada in 2022.

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