Israeli & Palestinian animal aid charities report human casualties
RAMAT GAN, Israel––Reliable information about animals and animal aid operations in Israel near Gaza and within the Gaza strip remains scarce, four days after Hamas terrorist attacks plunged the region into renewed warfare.
The Israeli animal sheltering and advocacy organization Let The Animals Live, of Ramat Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, operates a satellite shelter and clinic in Ashkelon, Israel’s major port city the target of repeated Hamas rocket attacks.
Ashkelon is also the nearest city to Kibbutz Re’im, where the war began with a Hamas massacre of approximately 260 attendees from at least 14 nations at a “Tribe of Nova” open air concert.
Animal adopter kidnapped by Hamas
Posted Let The Animals Live on the evening of October 10, 2023, “Last month, Ilan and Ayala Avrahami adopted Oliver, a dog, from us.”
“Last Shabbat [Saturday, October 7, the day of the Hamas attack],” Let The Animals Live continued, “Ilan was kidnapped by Hamas. Eila, while they were shooting at her, managed to escape. Together with Oliver, who misses you, and your dear family, we are waiting for Ilan to return home safe soon.”
As well as kidnapping humans, a video posted to the Let The Animals Live page on Facebook alleged, the Hamas invaders kidnapped at least one dog, a husky.
Heading toward the front
“Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11, 2023,” Let The Animals Live added, “we are heading south with a team of vets, food, and equipment for animals to help as much as we can. Unfortunately, we are currently only allowed to get to Ashkelon and Sderot. If there are any changes, we will keep you posted.
“We will be at our Ashkelon clinic from 9:00 a.m. until 11 a.m., and we’ll be giving out food for dogs and cats. Residents from the area are welcome.
“From there,” Let The Animals Live said, “we will move on to Sderot,” almost on the Gaza border, captured and held for nearly two days by Hamas gunmen, “for food dispensation, and we have coordinated with “Brothers in Arms” to help us transfer food to villages that are under siege.
“Good people have been helping”
“Good people have been helping us over the last few days with foster homes for 32 dogs and cats transferred from the Ashkelon clinic. We currently do not need any more fosters, but there is a great need for adoptions as we would hate for the animals to be returned to the shelter,” Let The Animals Live concluded this latest report.
Two days earlier, on October 8, 2023, Let The Animals Live reported that, “All the dogs and cats from our Ashkelon clinic have been moved to the Kfar Ruth shelter, which is packed.
“Thanks to our champion girls in Ashkelon!”
The Kfar Ruth shelter was reportedly holding about 250 animals in all.
Let The Animals Live has a long history of reaching across the Gaza border to help Palestinian animal rescuers, but as of late on October 10, 2023, offered no information from inside Gaza.
Dogs broke down shelter fences
Network for Animals, founded by the late Brian Davies (see International animal advocacy influencer Brian Davies dies at 87), claimed on the morning of October 10, 2023 in emailed appeals to be raising funds for both Let The Animals Live and Sulala Animal Rescue in Gaza.
Sulala Animal Rescue was said to be housing 400 dogs and 130 cats at a shelter occupying about five acres, and in foster homes.
“Many of the dogs have broken the enclosure fences in attempts to escape out of fear and terror at the sound of bomb blasts and airstrikes,” Network for Animals said.
ANIMALS 24-7 tried, but was not immediately able to confirm with either Let The Animals Live or Sulala Animal Rescue that either organization is in fact aware of the Network for Animals appeals.
Saeed Al Err
Founded in 2006 by Saeed Al Err, 50, and his wife Sally, Sulala Animal Rescue is the only animal protection organization incorporated within Gaza, a territory about 25 miles long by six miles wide, home to more than two million people, about half of them children.
Saeed Al Err formed Sulala Animal Rescue to accommodate street dogs who would otherwise have been poisoned by the Hamas governing authority.
Posted Sulala Animal Rescue to Facebook on October 10, 2023, “We took some of the most vulnerable disabled dogs to our house today, and we are working to get other dogs who wouldn’t be able to survive in the street to other places that are (hopefully) safer than the shelter,”
Earlier in the day Sulala Animal Rescue offered, “No war injuries yet in the dogs, but there is bombing everywhere.
“On the first day of the war we went to the shelter to put extra food for the dogs. The streets are completely empty because it’s dangerous. But the dogs have nowhere to hide.
“Currently we have our cats in three different locations,” Saeed Al Err said. “In my house, where I live; in another house, where my son Sa’ed is living and taking care of them, and in a third location where my other son is taking care of them.
“There are loud explosions, but the cats are doing relatively well. Maybe because they know they are safe with us. Our biggest worry is the dogs. They are in a space of open land in the shelter. And they get very scared when they feel like they can’t get away. We gave them as much space as possible, but already yesterday they broke the fence and some of them escaped. We keep following up with them and hope we will be able to keep reaching them. The situation is very troubling.
Shelter employee killed
“We are very sorry to report that one of our dear shelter employees, Loay Rami Al Wadi, was killed yesterday,” Saeed Al Err added.
“Loay was working with us since two years and took care of the dogs in the shelter on a daily basis. He was not yet 20 years old. We wish his family lots of strength and we hope everyone will stay safe.”
Saeed Al Err said nothing about how or where Loay Rami Al Wadi was killed, if he knew.
Cat Welfare Society of Israel founder died earlier
Back in Tel Aviv, Israel, just 35 miles north, animal advocates are in mourning for Cat Welfare Society of Israel founder Rivi Mayer, 62, reported dead on September 16, 2023 after a multi-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Cat Welfare Society of Israel itself disbanded in 2006, after Mayer ran through her personal resources in 14 years of sustaining it, but Mayer never stopped helping cats.
“Rivi Mayer was dedicated and tireless,” remembered longtime friend and colleague Ellen Moshenberg. “She was among the first to bring neuter/return to Israel and was a major force in ending routine mass cat poisoning [for animal control purposes].”
The one certainty about the war is that many more people on both sides will be in mourning, including for animal as well as human friends and family, before it is over.