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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 16:39 GMT
Marine's charity for Afghan dogs
Sgt Farthing and his wife Lisa, with their newly extended family of dogs
Rescue dogs Nowzad (l) and Tali (r) on the beach at Exmouth
A Royal Marine from 42 Commando in Devon has set up a charity to rescue dogs from Afghanistan.

Sgt Paul "Penny" Farthing and his wife Lisa have brought the first two rescued dogs to live at their house in Exmouth.

Nowzad and Tali have just come out of quarantine after their 3,500-mile journey from Helmand Province.

Sgt Farthing was on patrol when he found Nowzad - named after the town he was found in. His ears had been cut off and he was being groomed for fighting.

"We put a stop to that and Nowzad sort of adopted us," he told BBC News.

"We didn't bring him back to our camp on purpose. Nowzad just followed us back and he became the camp dog."

Veterinary training

The Marine said Nowzad, who is the charity's figurehead, would almost certainly have died without his intervention.

Money raised by the charity will be used to train Afghan vets in the UK and teach them about animal welfare.

It will also help cover transport and quarantine costs.

There are currently about 20 rescued dogs waiting in Afghanistan.

It will cost about 2,000 to bring each one to the UK.

Four of Tali's puppies
Five of Tali's six puppies died after contracting parvo virus

Sgt Farthing's second dog Tali - short for Taleban - was struggling to survive after giving birth to a litter of puppies.

"Tali snuck under the gate at camp one night and brought us six little presents - the puppies," he said.

"Sadly only one of them survived. Five died from parvo virus."

The lone survivor, named Helmand, remains in Afghanistan as work to rescue him continues.

"Hopefully he'll come back to the UK and we've already got a family willing to take him on," Sgt Farthing said.

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