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CNN Hero: Pen Farthing

Updated 8:16 PM ET, Thu December 11, 2014
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Pen Farthing, a former sergeant in the Royal Marines, is reuniting soldiers with the stray dogs they befriended while serving in Afghanistan. Farthing's nonprofit, Nowzad Dogs, has helped more than 700 soldiers from eight countries. For his work, Farthing was voted CNN Hero of the Year for 2014. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Farthing named his nonprofit for the stray he rescued during his tour. He said Nowzad filled an important void in his life: "My time with this dog was a way of de-stressing, collecting my thoughts." Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Nowzad Dogs has a shelter and clinic in Kabul, Afghanistan, that includes several trained veterinarians. The clinic spays or neuters street dogs and cats. It also vaccinates them and gives them microchips. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Nowzad Dogs works to promote animal welfare in Afghanistan, a country that Farthing wants to retain a connection to. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Pets spend two to three months at the shelter before being transported to the soldier's home country. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Farthing says his dog, Nowzad, adopted him after Farthing broke up a dogfight. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Farthing's organization is one of the only official animal shelters in Afghanistan. Joel van Houdt/ Getty Images for CNN
Nowzad Dogs' Kabul-based shelter and clinic are staffed by 14 Afghan nationals. Joel van Houdt/ Getty Images for CNN
Farthing carries food for animals. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN
Nowzad Dogs has reunited almost 700 people with their adopted animals in Afghanistan. Joel van Houdt/Getty Images for CNN