Tennessee woman works to save animals in Afghanistan

JACKSON, Tenn. — A Tennessee woman in Afghanistan is refusing to leave without some precious cargo.

She has been in country for the past three years, helping animals in need through the Kabul Small Animal Rescue.

The rescue was founded by Charlotte Maxwell-Jones.

“She has been there starting the organization and really helping the Afghanistan animals,” said Helen Summerfield-Brown, director and founder of the Stray Dog Support. “She has Afghan staff who are vets, so she also provides employment for the Afghan people.”

The recent chaos in Afghanistan has made it difficult for Maxwell-Jones, her staff, and the animals to leave Kabul.

“We’re just trying to bring attention to her and her rescue. She’s a U.S. citizen. She’s a Tennessee native. I cannot imagine the stress and the chaos she is feeling, so we’re trying to get these animals out,” Summerfield-Brown said.

Summerfield-Brown says she and other advocates have been trying to help Jones with rescue efforts.

“They put out a call for help that we will be trying to help her get evacuated on a privately-funded cargo plane, so it’s not provided by the taxpayers,” Summerfield-Brown said.

But getting landing permits hasn’t been easy, and Maxwell-Jones was told to leave the country by members of the Taliban.

“They told me to leave first. It’s very obvious what will happen if I leave first. We can get our people out within a few days. We have permits to do that now. We need landing permits for our animals,” Maxwell-Jones said.

Maxwell-Jones insists she will not leave the country without the animals nor her staff.

“We are not going to leave them. We need a landing permit because I think it’s going to continue to get more difficult,” she said.

With the recent explosions near the Kabul airport killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops, it has made the rescue efforts even more difficult.

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