Pen Farthing Nowzad The Facts Not The Fictionalized Journalism

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

PEN FARTHING & NOWZAD - THE FACTS not the Fictionalized journalism

Date: 20th September 2021


FACTS not the Fiction perpetrated by Journalists.

Here are the basic, accurate, unvarnished facts.

Pen is a retired Royal Marine Commando. He and other marines were on duty and happened to break up some dog fights organised by Afghans. Most of the dogs ran off but one with cut off ears and covered in battle scars followed PEN who adopted him in the village of NOWZAD and thus the Charity was born. In 2004, Pen was demobbed and returned to Afghanistan to set up his Charity originally to look after the strays who’d adopted Marines and provided comfort and companionship to them and also to reunite those he could with their retired service personnel back in the UK. The Clinic developed into a centre vaccinating and neutering and acting as a Training Centre for Trainee Vets.

Pen went to Kabul in March 2021 with Medical Supplies but was trapped there due to Covid.


Pen and his team plus the animals were within the Airport Perimeter but were halted by changed requirements issued by the American Government. They had to return to the Sanctuary. On their second attempt the Taliban refused to allow the Afghan staff and their families through the Perimeter Fence.

The Staff begged PEN to continue with the animals.

Some of the dogs were already about to enter the UK to be adopted by their service personnel ‘Owners’ and will be subject to a short period in quarantine because they have the appropriate medical certification- others will be in for longer. Some are ex service dogs or cats from diplomatic staff who had already left Kabul and they will be reunited.

The plane was commercial and Pen offered all the extra seats - over and above his staff - to over 100 Afghans who had clearance but again they were prohibited from entering the Airport.

PEOPLE BEFORE PETS (A headline grabbing piece of journalism) is a load of nonsense. The Hold of the plane was empty and could not be used for Passengers. Holds on Commercial Airlines are only fit to take luggage and freight. This is quite different from Military planes like the Hercules - where their huge bodies are pressurised and take troops - albeit in not very comfortable conditions. (You will have seen pictures of some military planes with Afghan refugees nothing like a Commercial airliner sitting in comfortable seats)

Pen had to take the flight with most of the available seats EMPTY. As for the Animals, they were loaded onto the Aircraft by off duty American servicemen who had nothing to do and offered their help to PEN. No British Military personnel were engaged in the operation.

We could see Pen’s pain at having to leave his staff behind - they begged him to go.

Fortunately Pen’s staff and their families are now at the High Commission in Islamabad waiting for transit to the UK - they escaped overland.

Pen has worked tirelessly and is still having to fight off false accusations appearing in the Press.

Having worked in News as a reporter and Newsreader for several decades I know how easily a story can be altered and how the Press will inevitably seek a ‘Headline Grabber’ - many are simply not bothered with the truth and the facts.

I hope this has gone some way to righting the wrongs aimed at PEN FARTHING and the wonderful work he has done.

Just for the record - his Vets are women who would not have been able to work freely under the Taliban (the same old Taliban, imposing strict Sharia Law, who’ve already put a stop to most of the freedoms and education gained by women over the last 2 decades). These Vets have already been made offers of employment etc here in the UK where they will contribute to a valuable veterinary service.

The charity NOWZAD is still desperately in need of funds for the quarantine etc. of animals brought in on the Commercial Airliner. PLEASE DONATE

Many thanks for reading this and I hope you will spread the word about all the misinformation surrounding Pen Farthing and Nowzad.

Jan xx

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