Rescued Afghan Hounds arrive at Toronto Animal Shelter

A mixed-breed street dog named Papo was chasing toys and rolling around in the sun on a clear day at a dog sanctuary in east Toronto.

It’s a change of pace for Papo after a long journey from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to Canada, where she arrived last month along with 10 other dogs who were evacuated from the country by animal welfare group No Dogs Left Behind.

Group spokesman Jeffrey Beri said the organization has brought hundreds of dogs and cats to Canada from Kabul since January, after the animals were abandoned when US troops pulled out of the country last summer.

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“Mission possible”: The five-month operation to rescue dogs and cats from Afghanistan

“I hope they get the love and attention they so much deserve,” Beri said of the Afghan Hounds’ new life in Canada.

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The last 10 dogs to arrive were either too young or not strong enough to travel on the first flight in January. The organization now aims to foster them as soon as possible and adopt them into new homes once they have been rehabilitated and screened.

According to Beri, when dogs first arrive at the No Dogs Left Behind safehouse, they are often traumatized and need to begin a rehabilitation process in order to trust people again.

Consistency and routine are important factors in the dogs’ rehabilitation, he said. Rescue dogs at the rescue center have very strict schedules for eating, going out, cleaning their shelter, and socializing with other dogs.

It was a complicated journey for the animals. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention banned the importation of dogs into the United States from countries it considers high risk of canine rabies, including Afghanistan, Beri said it has become more difficult to get the dogs to safety.

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In January, Beri said he spent two weeks in Afghanistan examining dogs in the care of Kabul Small Animal Rescue. He then loaded them onto a private cargo plane and accompanied the animals on their journey to their new lives in Canada.

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“In the end, the Afghans gave the dogs free passage, for which I commend them,” he said.

Back in Toronto, Beri recalled an emotional family reunion at the shelter this week when Dad’s father arrived three puppies days after the three puppies.

“We all cried,” Beri said. “He’s here, he’s free, he couldn’t be happier to see Papo and Papo couldn’t be happier to see him.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press Rescued Afghan Hounds arrive at Toronto Animal Shelter


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