Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Tigger House, Kabul

Similar to the compassion I felt for the stray animals I encountered in Iraq, I have grown fond of the helpless cats and dogs wandering around Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the residents of Kabul are no different in their treatment of animals than most Muslim societies that consider cats and dogs dirty and unworthy of being pets.  Here, there are stray dogs and cats wandering the city in large numbers.  Many appear injured and malnourished, often limping and sometimes missing legs or ears. Both children and adults alike ignore the animals or throw rocks at the strays. It's horrible to watch such maltreatment of man's best friend. 

One of the agents living at my compound is deeply concerned with the rescue of these wonderful animals. Amazingly, he found a local shelter situated deep within the city called the Afghan Stray Animal League  (http://www.afghanstrayanimals.org/mission_1.html). The shelter is known locally as the Tigger House and is operated by an American who solicits private donations and adoption fees in order to keep the shelter running.  She has a small but dedicated local staff who care for the animals that are brought into the shelter until such time that they can be adopted by American service members or other willing families. Although the shelter appears disheveled and dirty compared to our own standards, the dogs and cats brought to the shelter are safe and cared for until a home is found for them. The shelter has saved dozens of animals from cruel abuse and worse, from being sold to locals who purchase them for the sport of dog fighting.

Yesterday, Brandon, Michelle and I brought a litter of 7 pups to the shelter. The pups were born just outside of our compound and were fed by Brandon and some of the other residents until they were weaned. Unfortunately, they had grown to the point that local Afghans were taking interest in them for dog fighting, so Brandon asked if I would ride shotgun as we drove into the city to the Tigger House. Driving through the pothole-lined streets of Kabul while trying to keep 7 puppies from throwing up in your lap was challenging but worthwhile knowing that these dogs have a future ahead of them that is not filled with violence and hunger.

4 comments:

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Michelle said...

I am delighted to hear that there is an animal shelter in Kabul. Having lived in the Middle East for a few years, I understand the pain and frustration of seeing helpless animals mistreated by those who should know better. I brought 3 Jordanian street cats home to Canada with me, but I wished I could have helped more. The unnecessary suffering is heartbreaking. I am sending you, Tigger House staff, and the Afghan animals my love.

Michelle from Canada.

Manoj Kusshwaha said...

nice and cutie puppy love it

Peter @AAI flight Med said...

Afghanistan is like Vietnam with snow. The US should win there because we bring hope to both people and animals over there.