Rescued Afghan dogs arrive in Toronto

A mixed-breed street dog named Papo chased toys and rolled around in the sun on a recent clear day at an east Toronto dog sanctuary.

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

The group’s spokesman, Jeffrey Beri, said the organization had brought hundreds of dogs and cats from Kabul to Canada since January, after the animals were left behind when US troops withdrew from the country. last summer.

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

The last 10 dogs to arrive were either too young or not strong enough to travel on the original flight in January. The organization is now aiming to get them adopted and adopted into new homes as quickly as possible, once they are rehabilitated and vetted.

When the dogs first arrive at the No Dogs Left Behind shelter, Beri said they are often traumatized and have to go through a process of rehabilitation to trust humans again.

Consistency and routine are important factors in dog rehabilitation, he said. Sanctuary rescue dogs have very strict schedules for eating, going out, having their shelters cleaned 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 they consider to be at high risk for canine rabies, including Afghanistan, Beri said he became harder for dogs to get to safety.

Papo, a rescue from Afghanistan who arrived in Canada on June 24, is pictured at No Dogs Left Behind in Toronto, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Papo, who was too young to be transported earlier this year, was one of 10 last mixed-race street dogs from Afghanistan arrived at the sanctuary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

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

“At the end, the Afghans gave free passage to the dogs, I congratulate them,” he said.

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

“We were all crying,” 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.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 2, 2022.

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