Mission: Zamboo – Afghan Dog to Freedom

another sidetrack from painting! please share this with friends as we have only one month to raise funds. – Robert

Zamboo, a handsome Afghan dog, is looking for a home in America and a way to get there. We need your help!

My good friend, David Beard, is taking care of a little dog in Afghanistan. David is on assignment there with a private contractor in a camp located within the Afghan National Army Base. Once David’s company closes up camp in that part of Afghanistan, Zamboo will be left behind on his own – not a good fate for dogs in that part of the world…

Zamboo as a small pup in Afghanistan.

David is working hard to get Zamboo relocated to the US. He already has a dog in his hometown of St. Simons Island, Georgia and wants to find a loving owner for his buddy, Zamboo, once he arrives safely on American turf.  Through research, David came in contact with Michelle Smith of The Puppy Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization in Colorado that works to reunite soldiers in Afghanistan with their adopted dogs.

The price tag of bringing a dog back to the US is pretty hefty: It can run as high as $3,000 – $6,000 based on vet fees, medical supplies, boarding, paperwork and transport. The flight home usually involves a layover and connecting flight – often out of Dubai or Islamabad. David agrees: it is a big ticket for one dog but he says Zamboo is really special and he would hate to leave him behind.

The Puppy Rescue Mission has agreed to help David get Zamboo to America. They know all of the ropes and procedures.  They have a long, successful history of bringing dogs back to the US.




By clicking above, you will be redirected to a secure Paypal site maintained by The Puppy Rescue Mission. Your generous donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  Please use your paypal receipt as proof of donation. Send all requests to tax@thepuppyrescuemission.org if you desire to have a year end receipt. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Donations are handled through The Puppy Rescue Mission. Any donations exceeding the amount needed for Zamboo’s rescue will be donated to The Puppy Rescue Mission’s general rescue fund which helps reunite American troops with their beloved Afghan dogs. All donations are Tax Deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

Checks can be mailed to:
The Puppy Rescue Mission
PO Box 1516
Celina, Texas 75009
Note “Zamboo” on your check.



Zamboo, shortly after he was found as a puppy.

Zamboo’s Story:


Afghan culture is not very friendly to dogs.

According to Islamic religious beliefs, if a person is bitten by a dog, he will not gain access to Allah. Consequently, dogs are a disgrace and treated as filth. All too often they are used for target practice, blown up, run over, kicked, mistreated, starved and abused. Many dogs run in packs and feed from garbage dumps and scrounge for any bits of food they can find. And if a dog has any contact with humans, it is usually when the dog is used as a fighting instrument for gambling and entertainment.

“It’s really sad,” David told me, “to see these beautiful animals in such deplorable conditions.” In Afghanistan, dogs are not considered companions. They are viewed as pests and abuse is very common.

David goes on to say that there is something special about these dogs: “These guys are probably closer to the original domesticated dogs.” David is amazed at how friendly they are despite that they run in packs and seem to be much wilder than domesticated. “It’s unbelievable,” he adds, “that they almost have a special sense about people; they do not like the locals one bit yet they seem to know that most Americans are friendly and will not harm them. They will come right up to you whereas they tend to stay away from the Afghanis. And they are often very sweet and loving creatures despite their horrible living conditions and mal treatment by the locals.”

David Beard met Zamboo through Joe, a co-worker of his in Afghanistan.

Joe, like David, is an American who works for a private contractor in Afghanistan. Their camp is located inside the Afghan National Army base. Joe, an animal lover, was aware of how many Afghan dogs are strays and knew well the tell tale signs of an Afghan fighting dog: cut off ears and tail.


During his Afghan assignment, Joe took in two stray dogs: One was an abused fighting dog named Morcha. Looking at Morcha – which means “ant” in the local language – because of his size – one would wonder if he really was a fighter or whether he was more likely offered as bait. As is custom, Morcha is missing ears and his tail. The other dog was Murray, a female Afghan Desert Dog.

One happy family. (From Left to Right:) Morcha, Zamboo and Murray. Notice Morcha’s missing ears due to his previous life as a fighting dog.

Two weeks before Christmas in 2010, a small puppy caught Joe’s attention. It entered their camp one morning and Joe immediately noticed two unusual things:

  • The puppy was so happy, carefree and willing to meet anyone it came upon – unusual in a place where dogs are not so welcomed.
  • The puppy appeared to be a Yellow Labrador mix; Joe worked in this part of Afghanistan for several years and had never seen a Labrador in the area.

Since he already was taking care of Morcha & Murray, Joe thought it wasn’t a good idea to take on another dog.

“I left him on his own to run around the camp. After 4 days, the little guy decided to park on my front steps and would not wander far away. Needless to say, I broke down and took him in.”

Since he already had a dog named after an insect, a few of the dog friendly locals thought Joe needed to name the dog Zambuur which means “bee” because he was yellow like a bee. “I compromised and called him Zamboo.”

Joe gave Zamboo a good bath, removed his ticks and gave him a light flea bath. “He fit right in and became part of the family.”

About six months later, Joe was pressured into giving up Morcha because Morcha was not friendly to new people entering the camp especially local Afghans. “I was really having a hard time with the idea of giving him up until the local cook expressed an interest in taking Morcha home with him to protect his family. I figured that the cook would always have leftovers and bones to feed him so I let him take him to the village.”

Now it was just Joe, Murray and Zamboo.

Joe, Zamboo and Murray. Both dogs were victims of poisoning by Afghan soldiers. Zamboo survived, Murray was not so fortunate.

In November of 2011, Joe traveled to Dubai for a meeting. While he was there, someone called and told him something was seriously wrong with Murray and Zamboo did not look well. When Joe arrived back at the camp two days later, Murray had already died and Zamboo could not move.

Joe determined that the Afghan Army had been laying out poisoned meat for the stray dogs and probably had thrown some over his camp’s fence.

“I tried to nurse Zamboo back to health, but he dug his way underneath a Sea Container and would not come out.  I checked on him and shoved fresh water under the container and thank God he pulled out of it three days later.”

Joe developed a strong bond with Zamboo: “Since then he has been my buddy, Camp Protector, Killer of Mice and alarm clock (he puts his front paws on the bed at 06:00 and whispers in my ear “time to get up”).  He is a good dog and pretty smart.”

Unfortunately, Joe was reassigned to a dangerous, remote area of Afghanistan and could not take Zamboo with him. Joe entrusted David as Zamboo’s new caretaker and wants David to find a way to get Zamboo adopted to a new loving family back in America.

Zamboo, the good boy!

The project has become urgent as David’s camp will soon be closed down. David wants so much to secure Zamboo’s fate before that day gets here.

“Zamboo is a beautiful dog,” David adds, “He’s sweet, funny, intelligent, loving and has a bright, positive outlook on life. I know he will make for a great dog for the right family.”

If you are interested in possibly adopting Zamboo, please fill out the form below. 

Murray & Zamboo.

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