Every dog we photograph tells a story and today we are sharing a truly special one with the hopes we can inspire action. As the crisis continues to unfold, we are using this platform in an effort to bring awareness to several groups of remarkable people dedicated to saving the lives of the animals of Afghanistan like Joe, Marty, and Aaron. If you are reading this, you can help. If you have the means, please consider donating. If you have the space, please consider fostering or adopting. If you have a voice, please consider sharing this or other calls to action.
We have been fortunate to photograph dogs all over the world, but last year’s assignment was a whole new breed. Literally. Joe, Marty, and Aaron are Kuchis who were born in Afghanistan and now live outside the Dallas area with their humans who met them while serving overseas. Unlike most of our clients, this human came to us without a long-standing love of dogs, but rather a unique story of the true magic of canine charisma.
Stray dogs are abundant in Afghanistan and the fate of these animals on a ‘normal day’ is uncertain at best. According to the Puppy Rescue Mission (PRM), animals in Afghanistan are treated like trash, used for target practice, blown up, run over, used in fights, or worse. But when these two small pups made their way onto the military base, they made an instant connection with the woman who would eventually become a canine convert and their mom.
Joe was about eight weeks old. He had been living near the firing range and the men in the guard towers threw rocks at him. Marty was the runt of his litter. His mother stopped feeding and abandoned him. He was about six weeks old when the team found him on their way back from a patrol and he would not have survived on his own. They were later joined by a third dog and the team bestowed upon them the names Joe, Marty, and Aaron, a tribute to comrades lost in an IED attack. Immediately they boosted morale and their mom went to work finding a way to ensure their safe transit to the US. She enlisted the help of PRM and after all the intricate details of airlifting three large dogs from a war zone came together, the boys arrived in America in 2011.
Their mom contacted me for a photo session exactly a year ago today when Marty was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met these amazing dogs and their humans. To find out how you can help the animals of Afghanistan, please check out the resources below.
Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR) is a veterinary clinic and animal rescue currently working on the ground to help anyone who wants to evacuate their animals from Afghanistan. KSAR has been able to get into Taliban-held compounds to rescue dogs and pets left behind by internationals and are working to charter flights for humans and animals out of the country. Unfortunately landing permits have not yet been granted and the situation is becoming more critical as hostilities rise. If you are interested in adopting or are able to foster, please write to KSARadopt@gmail.com. You can donate to their efforts HERE.
Puppy Rescue Mission (“PRM”) is based in Celina, TX and works directly with several organizations in Afghanistan and other countries, arranging medical care for the soldiers’ animals as well as transportation for the animals to their forever homes.
Nowzad works to relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan; including companion animals, working equines, stray and abandoned dogs and cats and all other animals in need of care and attention, and to provide and maintain rescue, rehabilitation and education facilities for the care and treatment.
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