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Gaza Pets & Strays Are In Dire Need Of Support

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Last Updated: May 21, 2024 | 5 min read | Leave a Comment

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Person feeding stray animals in Gaza.
Photo courtesy of Sulala Animal Rescue.

Amidst the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, this alarming situation begs the question, what is happening to pets, strays, and shelter animals in this severely war-torn area of our world? And is there anything we can do to help?

Of course, the human toll in Gaza deserves ongoing coverage. The situation for humans and animals is critical, and it’s more devastating than you might imagine. However, we’re disappointed to find that a vast majority of media outlets haven’t been covering the status of animals in Gaza, so we feel the need to speak up and spread the word. We’ll give you the latest information on the region and ways you can help support these innocent lives.

What’s The Current Status?

According to Palestinian health authorities, more than 2.3 million Palestinians are displaced and suffering from a lack of food, water, and medicine. The Israel-Hamas war has killed at least 35,000 people in Gaza and an unknown number of pets. However, countless animals have survived airstrikes and continuing ground assaults. In areas that have been evacuated and destroyed, countless dogs and cats have been displaced and are in urgent need of aid.

Perhaps the most comparable U.S. disaster that rallied our country together to help our fellow human and canine citizens was Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. But to put it in perspective, the situation in Gaza is unbelievably worse than Katrina for Gaza residents, their beloved pets, and those still in the region who are trying desperately to save as many animals as they can.

Who’s Caring For Animals In Gaza?

Even before the war started, there was only one licensed animal rescue organization in the Gaza Strip, the Sulala Animal Rescue (SAR), founded and run by Saeed Al Err. Mr. Al Err and volunteers feed and provide medical care and shelter to stray animals in Gaza. They take in as many strays as possible, but circumstances are challenging.

According to multiple sources, this organization has had to move at least three times since the airstrikes began in late 2023. They have rescued over 400 dogs and hundreds of cats and also provide aid to working animals (donkeys and horses) in Gaza. They also feed as many strays on the streets as possible.

SAR shares many recent heart-wrenching stories on its Twitter (X) account. It’s impossible to capture them all here, so we urge you to take a look for yourself (warning: some images are difficult to digest). SAR has been posting regularly since the war began on October 7, 2023, so you can follow their grueling and fearless journey caring for dogs, cats, and other animals in need. Below are just a few of SAR’s shares on social media since the war began.

Sulala Animal Rescue volunteers saving dogs after an October bombing.

Volunteers were feeding stray dogs and cats amidst pre-bombing fireballs.

Saeed Al Err pleads for aid in November 2023.

In May, SAR rescued and provided medical care to this puppy with a head wound.

Aid Getting Into Gaza Remains Bleak

If you’ve been keeping up with the news in Gaza, the facts of aid getting into this region for humans (and animals) have been devastating. In addition to critical supplies for residents, pets in Gaza are in desperate need of food and veterinary supplies. However, supply chains are severely limited.

For example, Animals Australia, a nonprofit animal rights organization currently partnering with SAR, attempted to get supplies into Gaza. In an Instagram post in January, Animals Australia wrote, “We have managed to send an initial two tonnes of animal food and extensive veterinary supplies to the Rafah border. It is currently waiting in line for approval for entry into Gaza.” After nearly four months, SAR finally received the supplies in late April. This is excellent news, but given the overwhelming need, these provisions won’t last long.

Fortunately, reports came in on May 17 that trucks carrying aid have another avenue to enter Gaza through the newly built U.S. pier. U.S. military officials hope to scale up the number of trucks getting in each day to 150. Still, the floating pier isn’t equipped to match the capacity needed for adequate deliveries. According to AP News, more than 500 truckloads entered the territory on an average day before the war.

What Can I Do To Help?

Fortunately, some organizations are committed to this cause. There are several ways you can help support dogs, cats, and other animals who have become innocent victims during this war.

Support International Relief Efforts

Animals Australia donation graphic.
Photo courtesy of Animals Australia.

A few international organizations are demanding aid, including pet food and basic vet supplies, to be included in the convoys allowed into Gaza. The leading global organization spearheading this call to action is Animals Australia. This organization has partnered with Sulala Animal Rescue and has some important tips on how you can affect change in the support efforts.

Animals Australia urges U.S. citizens to call or email their Congressperson to ask that urgent food and veterinary supplies for animals throughout Gaza be included in humanitarian aid convoys. Their site has handy links to find your local representative’s email address.

Other international organizations focusing on this issue include Network For Animals and In Defense Of Animals. However, these groups don’t partner with Sulala Animal Rescue. So we urge you to focus on Animals Australia.

Follow & Share Sulala Animal Rescue On Social Media

Sulala Animal Rescue has several social media channels. Following and sharing all channels with your friends and family can help spread the word. We’ve been following each channel for months and find their Twitter (X) channel the most comprehensive and frequently updated. They also have channels on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Keep informed and share often.

Donate To The Sulala Animal Rescue

In late April, volunteers created a GoFundMe account for Sulala Animal Rescue. You can also contribute via the organization’s official PayPal account. Another trustworthy way to support SAR’s efforts is by making a donation to Animals Australia. This organization sends 100% of your donation directly to SAR to provide emergency support for the hundreds of dogs, cats, and working animals impacted by the war in Gaza.

Please share our article on your social media accounts to spread the word. We’d also love for you to let us know if you have any insights into this ongoing situation in Gaza in our comments.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally and her colleagues at Canine Journal are die-hard pet lovers and animal advocates committed to their well-being. When dogs and other animals are in crisis anywhere in the world, we at Canine Journal are seriously concerned. And we feel an obligation to spread the word to our fellow dog lovers. As a long-time journalist, Sally delves into the most important and trustworthy information available on the web to give our readers the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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