It’s a particularly dark evening, with leaden skies made even darker by the 15-hour blackout that has engulfed the entire of Kabul after the Taliban destroyed several pylons in the country’s northern provinces, cutting electricity to the Afghan capital. But at a small makeshift shelter in the heart of the city, a group of dedicated activists continue their work undeterred by the darkness; bathing the newly arrived heavily pregnant dogs using just the lights of their mobile phones. Many of their furry guests — about 15 cats and a few dogs — are survivors of the most recent Taliban attack in Kabul.
On September 3, a massive truck bomb targeted the Green Village, a heavily fortified compound occupied mostly by foreign nationals working in Afghanistan, killing 16 people, including eight foreigners, and leaving 120 others injured, most of them Afghans who often get caught in the crossfire of this war. But amidst all the violence and chaos in a steadily worsening situation in Afghanistan, which has caused increasing loss of civilian lives, the animal casualties often get ignored. Less than a handful of organisations that work in the country focus on animal rescue, protection and care.
“You don’t hear about it much. For obvious reasons, animals are not the focus of news about insurgent activity and the all too regular violence here in Kabul,” Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, a 37-year-old archeologist- turned-animal-activist told TRT World. It was this scarcity of animal care that motivated Maxwell-Jones to start Kabul Small Animal Rescue, an NGO working on animal protection in Afghanistan.
“I think Nowzad [a Kabul-based British charity that also works on animal care] has cared for some dogs that have had shrapnel injuries after bombings. Donkeys and herd animals have been used by Armed Opposition Groups to carry bombs, but I haven’t heard of that happening in a while,” she added.
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