A BID to help rescue a team of vets from Afghanistan has raised £5,000 in just 12 hours.

As The Press reported yesterday, VetPartners, which has it’s headquarters at Clifton Moor in York, has offered employment to members of the Nowzad veterinary team who are currently trying to get safe passage from Afghanistan to the UK.

Now in just 12 hours they have raised £5,000 towards a bid to help get them out of the country.

A spokesman for VetPartners said the groups 160 practices across the UK want to help repatriate the team members and cats and dogs in the care of Nowzad, Afghanistan’s first official animal sanctuary.

Efforts to help Nowzad have also been backed by York-born actress Dame Judi Dench.

VetPartners CEO Jo Malone, who is based at Spitfire House in Clifton Moor, said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to have smashed through the £5,000 barrier. Our family of practices across the UK care passionately about this cause and have really got behind our campaign and so too have their clients and people in the wider community.

“Out of the gloom of this situation has come a ray of light – thank to some really lovely people who have donated. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated and we hope the donations will continue.”

In Afghanistan British troops are racing against the clock to get remaining UK nationals and their local allies out of the country following the dramatic fall of the country’s Western-backed government and the Taliban takeover.

The Nowzad charity takes care of animals suffering in Afghanistan. The charity’s animal shelter and veterinary clinic was set up by ex-Royal Marine Commando Pen Farthing, who is fundraising to hire a cargo plane to fly out his colleagues and as many of their dogs and cats as possible in a mission called Operation Ark, as the charity faces the heartbreaking prospect of putting rescue animals in their care to sleep.

Dame Judi said: “So much constructive work will be destroyed. Pen Farthing and his team at Nowzad have achieved so much in terms of animal welfare and educational work benefitting the local community, particularly for the women Nowzad has sponsored to become qualified vets. All of their lives are now threatened by the Taliban.”

Click here to help with the fundraising effort.