Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, the owner of an animal rescue clinic in the capital Kabul (Afghanistan), decided not to evacuate to the US after she could not arrange to bring a large number of cats and dogs with her. According to Stars and Stripes, Ms. Maxwell-Jones was unable to get the animals on board US military flights or charter a private jet to leave Afghanistan by the August 31 deadline.
In an interview with the US TV channel WVLT, she said she would stay until about 130 dogs were safely evacuated, including about 50 dogs that had helped the US military. She said: “They are my responsibility, I always love to take care of them. I think if I wasn’t here, there would be less chance of saving them.”
Ms. Maxwell-Jones has lived in Afghanistan for 11 years and founded the Kabul Small Animal Rescue clinic in 2018 to rescue stray animals, provide veterinary services and help bring adopted animals abroad.
Among them are dogs that have been contracted by the US military to sniff out bombs and perform important missions to help neutralize threats to US troops while abroad. However, contract dogs do not belong to the military and are not considered military dogs.
Pictures of dogs in cages that Mrs. Maxwell-Jones brought to Kabul airport to try to evacuate have been widely circulated on social media. Many have accused American forces of leaving their sniffer dogs behind in Afghanistan. The Pentagon on August 31 had to make a correction, stating clearly that the US military did not leave behind military dogs and the dogs in the photo are from Kabul Small Animal Rescue.
Although her parents wanted her to return to the United States, she decided to stay, passing up many opportunities to evacuate before August 31. Currently, under the Taliban government, she is under a curfew and can only go out when accompanied by a man. In addition to 130 dogs, Ms. Maxwell-Jones also wants to get 75 cats, 2 sheep and 2 parrots out of Afghanistan. She hopes to charter a flight in the coming weeks.