Rest of Asia

Video: Kabul animal rescue centre turns to social media for help amid evacuation crisis

Mahwash Ajaz/Kabul
Filed on August 23, 2021
Photo: Kabul Small Animal Rescue/Twitter

The non-profit organisation has been putting out SOS messages online ever since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last week.

Over the last week, the world has watched helplessly as several heartbreaking stories have come out of Kabul amid chaotic evacuations spurred by a lightning takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

Among the latest to go viral on social media is a video from the director of a non-profit animal rescue centre appealing for help to rescue the abandoned creatures in her care.

According to Slate, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones arrived in Afghanistan in 2010 and founded the veterinary clinic in 2018. The organisation has over 30 staff members and more than 200 animals — all of whom Charlotte is advocating to take out of Afghanistan.

The centre has been putting out SOS messages online ever since the Taliban takeover last week.

“We are Americans & Afghans (led by women) on the ground in Kabul taking in dogs and cats left behind as people flee. We need awareness and financial help so we can evacuate with these animals. Please help spread the word,” reads one such post from August 21.

In the video, a distraught Charlotte tells of how "a large group of Taliban" people met with her and told her to leave "immediately".

She continued, “We can get our people out within a few days. We have permits to do that now. We need a landing permit for our animals. We have stuck it out this far. We’re not going to leave them. We need a landing permit...”

A GoFundMe page, started in support of the cause, has raised about $146,378 (approx. Dh540,000) from 3,000 donors so far — including one anonymous donor who pledged $5,000 (approx. Dh18,300).

“The Kabul Small Animal Rescue is still open and ready to help any animals that cross our paths,” said the fundraising appeal. “We are working on placement for all our cats (we currently have 55, including many tiny kittens) and have two large evacuation flights planned for them in August, but we need help coming up with the full costs.”


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Twitter users have been quick to share Charlotte’s video appeal with the video garnering over 37,000 views and 900 retweets in four hours.

The centre has been tagging everyone from British PM Boris Johnson and former US President Barack Obama to American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to highlight their situation.

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