Former British Royal Marine Paul “Pen” Farthing, the founder of a sanctuary for stray animals in Afghanistan who evacuated Kabul with 173 cats and dogs, has revealed that the Taliban fatally stabbed one of his pooches.
Farthing, 52, whose privately funded charter flight landed Sunday in London, told the Daily Mail that five cats died during the journey — and that one of his dogs was fatally stabbed during the drive through Taliban checkpoints to the Kabul airport.
“I think I’ve cried more in the last five or six days than I have since I was four years old. I’m just numb with it,” he told the outlet.
Farthing also recounted that he received a heartbreaking text when he arrived at the airport with his animals.
“It was from my mate Dave who ran a security company in Kabul. He got out literally two hours before me, but kept his compound and left his two pet dogs with the staff,” he told the outlet.
“He texted, ‘The bastards just shot Brutus. They went round the compound, saw the dogs, dragged them into the open and shot them,’” added Farthing, who evacuated the war-torn capital last week after the British army helped him board the private plane.
The animal rescuer’s flight took place after earlier plans to evacuate with the staff of his Nowzad charity and then animals were thwarted by the suicide bombing outside the airport.
Farthing later flew to Norway to be reunited with his wife, Kaisa, 30, who fled from Afghanistan two weeks ago, according to the report.
“The Afghan people were standing there with all their belongings in a line. There was one guy whose paperwork they didn’t like so they’re like, ‘Come on, out,” with an AK rifle in his back. I was just watching this guy trying to wave at his wife and kids as he was being dragged off at gunpoint,” he recounted.
“I think it’ll take a long time to ever get out of my head having to say goodbye to the two members of staff who drove the truck for me to get me into the airport along roads just lined with people,” Farthing continued.
‘There were thousands and thousands of them in makeshift camps waiting for their turn to try to get into the airport – women, children… And you should have seen the human misery in that hangar – the possessions people had left behind – photographs, hats, children’s toys,” he told the outlet.
‘I was sitting amongst all that when someone tweeted about my foul-mouthed rant [to Defense Minister Ben Wallace’s special adviser Peter Quentin],” Farthing said.
Farthing had reportedly told Quentin that he would “f—- destroy you” over the UK’s handling of the evacuation from Kabul.
“I don’t even remember making it. I totally forgot about it until somebody sent me a tweet that said, ‘Pen Farthing’s explosive rant…’ I thought, ‘What the hell are they going on about?’” he said.
“It was a heat-of-the-moment thing. We needed paperwork for our staff and their families to be able to go to the airport. Peter Quentin had told me six days before the staff had been approved to leave the country but, for whatever reason, they wouldn’t give me the paperwork,” Farthing continued.
“You can imagine as the window between where we were and when the Americans were pulling out got smaller and smaller I was getting pretty stressed,” he said, adding that he has apologized for the language he used.