The founder of an animal rescue centre in Wales was among the volunteers who helped transport Pen Farthing’s cats and dogs.
Farthing arrived at Heathrow Airport with 173 rescues from his Nowzad animal charity in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, August 29, and was met by a number of vehicles involved in transporting them to their quarantine centres.
Among them was Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary founder Graham Geran, who had volunteered to collect some of the dogs in a special transport vehicle free of charge.
The animal rescue, based in Powys, is on the list of premises and carriers authorised by the Government for rabies quarantine in England, Wales or Scotland.
Graham told ITV : “I was up at three o’clock in the morning as I had to be in Heathrow for 7:30… and then it was a case of waiting for the checks and then get them from the plane into the quarantine centre.”
There were said to around 18 other vehicles involved in transporting the animals.
Speaking about the dogs, Graham said: “They came out of the crate and they were straight up jumping on us.
“Street dogs from the likes of Afghanistan, they’re treated really badly…but all the dogs want to do is be loved.”
Graham also revealed that he had received ‘numerous phones calls’ from people wishing to adopt the animals after it was discovered he was involved in transporting them.
He added to ITV : “People want to adopt the dogs, so they will go out to quarantine and to good homes.
Lorraine Edwards, from dog charity Lozzas Lurcher Rescue, based in Hertford, Hertfordshire, also assisted with moving the Nowzad animals to their facilities.
She told the BBC : “Despite the long journey, they are in amazing condition and, after four months of quarantine, they will be given the wonderful new homes they deserve.”
The animals, with an estimated total of around 100 dogs and 70 cats, are in quarantine kennels across the UK, with hundreds of people looking to adopt them – however, their wellbeing is currently unknown.
A spokesperson for Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary has since said to TeamDogs : “We only provided transport for some dogs when Pen landed at Heathrow, we took them to a quarantine facility, so we don’t actually know how they are doing.”
A statement from Nowzad said: “Our animals that survived the journey from the Nowzad clinic in Afghanistan to the UK are now safely in quarantine kennels being processed by DEFRA.”
DEFRA have not yet provided an update on the wellbeing of the animals.