A one-eyed dog, a three-legged dog and a dog with vision impairment are among the animals coming in early June from Afghanistan to rescue operations in Fryeburg and Woolwich.

Bolt, a mixed breed with impaired vision, is one of three dogs veterinarian Monique Kramer of Fryeburg will house when they arrive in early June from Afghanistan. 

Veterinarian Monique Kramer of Fryeburg, who also runs Long Journey to a New Beginning Animal Rescue, is one of two Maine animal rescues participating in an airlift of almost 300 animals from the capital city of Kabul.

So far, 178 dogs and 99 cats are scheduled to fly from nonprofit Kabul Small Animal Rescue to rescues, sanctuaries, foster homes and individual adopters in 30 states, including Maine. The airlift will relieve an overcrowding situation that threatens to derail or possibly close Kabul Small Animal Rescue. This is the second major airlift the rescue service has undertaken. The first, in 2022, successfully sent 286 dogs and cats to rescues in Canada.

Kramer is housing 27 dogs and a cat at her property. She started her rescue in 1986, at one point bringing in 100 Hurricane Katrina dogs in 2005-06.

“I saw KSAR’s Facebook post that they were in trouble and I’m pretty full, but I decided to do what I can to help,” said Kramer, an alternative medicine veterinarian.

Kramer is taking in a Lab mix named Speen, a shepherd mix named Asher, and a mixed breed with vision impairment named Bolt. The vision problem is something her practice deals with.


Speen, a Lab mix, is one of three dogs veterinarian Monique Kramer of Fryeburg will house when they arrive in early June from Afghanistan.   

Passion for Pets Rescue in Woolwich is the other Maine rescue involved in the project. “We are taking a one-eyed dog named Clementine and a ‘tripod’ named Coco” among 11 others, said adoption coordinator Leann Ryan. The dogs will be temporarily housed with Ryan in Woolwich, and with foster homes, though Passion for Pets leaders are hoping more foster homes and adopters will come forward to help.

Formed in 2018, Kabul Small Animal Rescue received nonprofit status two years later as a way to help the many abused, neglected, sick and injured animals that are often left to die on Afghanistan streets.

“In Afghanistan, when you see an animal in need, I know if I walk by absolutely no one else will help,” founder and Director Charlotte Maxwell-Jones said in a recent interview. “It’s suffering I can’t ignore.”

According to Maxwell-Jones, when Kabul Small Animal Rescue rescues animals, they are given immediate veterinary attention, often under challenging conditions that include daily blackouts, and live with animal caregivers in 30 rented houses. Kabul Small Animal Rescue leaders don’t believe in kenneling dogs and cats, so their arrival in the U.S. will not include shelters. For that reason, Maine’s Long Journey to a New Beginning Animal Rescue and Passion for Pets fit the bill as they offer foster-based, home-based care.

Asher, a shepherd mix, is one of three dogs veterinarian Monique Kramer of Fryeburg will house when they arrive in early June from Afghanistan.  

The animals from Afghanistan will already be spayed, neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, flea treated and documented. They will be accompanied by two British veterinarians and Maxwell-Jones on the two-day trip from Kabul. Following a refueling stop in Europe — with some details undisclosed due to security issues — the group will arrive in Washington, D.C.

“In the past week, ISIS has attacked and killed tourists in Bamyan,” Maxwell-Jones said. “They have put out a call to go after international (nongovernment organizations). We need to be really careful. There are a lot of Taliban checkpoints around us as we are located in downtown Kabul, and as crazy as it sounds, that is what’s keeping us safe.”


Once in the United States, after a series of U.S.-mandated screenings, the dogs and cats will be transported by legions of volunteers still being lined up to destinations around the country.

“We are looking to additional rescues to step up, including in Maine, as 22 more dogs need to be flown out,” Maxwell-Jones said.

Kabul Small Animal Rescue has raised more than $775,000 in private donations since March to cover the $2,600 cost per animal for the airlift, and the hope is that Kabul Small Animal Rescue and the rescue organizations accepting the animals will receive more donations.

“As far as animal rescues throughout the country are concerned right now, it is a catastrophic time,” said Kramer, citing COVID’s rash of surrendered dogs, a veterinary shortage, the housing crisis and state of the economy. “Still we need help to get the rest of these dogs out of Kabul to a better life.”

For more information on Kabul Small Animal Rescue go to: www.facebook.com/kabulsmallanimalrescue or email charlotte@kabulsmallanimalrescue.com; on Passion for Pets: www.pprorg.com; on Long Journey to a New Beginning Animal Rescue: www.journeyanimalrescue.org.

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