By Kiko Itasaka, NBC News Producer
KABUL – War-torn Afghanistan is not know for its kind treatment toward dogs. From the popularity of dog fights, to grinding poverty, care of man’s best friend has not been a top priority.
One former British soldier has taken on the battle to protect stray dogs and cats in her adopted country.
Louise Hastie and a team of Afghan nationals, operates the only official animal shelter in the country.
“We don’t turn any animal in need away,” said Hastie, who runs the Nowzad Animal Shelter in Kabul. Nowzad is named after the small town in Helmand where the first dog was adopted in 2007.
In six years, Nowzad has taken in thousands of animals of war, many of which were adopted by soldiers serving all over Afghanistan. The charity has organized the transport of over 400 dogs and cats to be reunited with former soldiers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“These are animals who kept them going, gave them the few minutes of being normal every day,” said Hastie. “It is unthinkable leaving a friend behind – so they are not going to want to leave a dog or cat behind.”
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