Kinship Circle: ACT / Lebanon Evacuations: NO PETS ALLOWED!

July 19th, 2006 9:23 pm by Kelly Garbato

(Crossposted at

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at]
Date: Jul 19, 2006 5:43 PM
Subject: ACT/ Lebanon Evacuations: NO PETS ALLOWED!

7/19/06–Lebanon Evacuations: NO PETS ALLOWED!



Sharon Hopkins, montalice [at]
Mary Alice, Alert from the Cornwall’s Voice for Animals UK, [at]

National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post) (Canada)
Ottawa hires cruise ships for evacuation: Cyprus, then home by air: As many as 50,000 Canadians believed to be in Lebanon


U.S. public announcements and warden messages
Lebanon Situation Update / July 18, 2006



The media does not accept “form letters” and may reject letters on this topic if perceived as part of an organized campaign.


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Feel free to use portions of our letter, but please add some original thoughts. Hundreds of identical letters may lessen the impact.


The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0A2
ph: 613-992-4211; fax: 613-941-6900
email: pm [at]

Prime Minister Tony Blair
10 Downing Street,
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President George Bush
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
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comments: 202-456-1111, switchboard: 202-456-1414; fax: 202-456-2461
email: comments [at], president [at], vice_president [at], firstlady [at]
web email:

Embassy of Canada in Lebanon
Lot 12, Autostrade Mezzeh
ph: (011 963 11) 611-6692
Emergency Operations Centre, toll-free from Canada: 1-800-387-3124
From Lebanon, Canadians can call the Embassy at 961 (4) 713-900 or collect at 001-613-996-8885
Emergency Operations Centre: sos [at], berut [at]

Embassy of the United Kingdom In Lebanon
British Embassy, Embassies Complex Army Street, Zkak Al-Blat, Serail Hill
PO Box 11-471
Beirut, Lebanon
ph: 00961 (0)1 990400; fax: 00961 (0)1 990420
email: britemb [at], Press & Public Affairs: chancery [at]

Embassy of the United States In Lebanon
U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon
Address: Awkar facing the Municipality
P.O. Box 70-840 Antelias
ph: (961) 4 542600 – 543600; fax: (961) 4 544136
American Citizens Services: BeirutACS [at] State.Gov
Public Affairs Section: PASBeirut [at] State.Gov


pm [at], comments [at], president [at], vice_president [at], firstlady [at], sos [at], berut [at], britemb [at], chancery [at], BeirutACS [at] State.Gov, PASBeirut [at] State.Gov


Prime Minister Tony Blair:

President George Bush:


Honorable Officials of Canada, United Kingdom, and United States of America:

I read with dismay about government plans to evacuate Canadian, British and American nationals without their pets. I can only surmise authorities have forgotten the fallout from Hurricane Katrina evacuations with no provisions for animals.

“Hurricane Katrina taught us that many people will not evacuate if they will have to leave pets behind,” U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) stated in support of the pending U.S. Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act.

Apparently, it was a lesson unlearned. Despite the fact a pet’s survival is often integral to the survival of his caregivers, Canadian, British, and American evacuation protocols explicitly ban pets from joining their families aboard vessels leaving Lebanon. As a result, foreigners are releasing companion animals into the streets, primarily in volatile zones where bomb strikes occur.

Some are locking animals inside homes isolated by the escalating violence. For confined pets, death by starvation comes slowly and painfully. Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) estimates thousands of animal companions have already been forcibly left behind.

I respectfully ask you to immediately allocate resources for responders on the ground to assist companion animals and their human caregivers. At the very least, please be aware of the crisis unfolding for animals and provide emergency aid for shelter facilities in Lebanon.

Hurricane Katrina etched unforgivable images into the world’s conscience: A white dog was ripped from a boy’s arms. A bewildered yellow Lab watched his family disappear in a helicopter. An elderly woman couldn’t receive medical care unless she deserted her cats. A man and his dog swam and walked for miles before officials ordered him to abandon his only living family member. Hundreds of thousands of companion animals either died in the storm or its aftermath, or were shipped to shelters around the U.S. The lack of an animal preparedness plan was appalling.

ANY evacuation plan that overlooks animals is a bad plan. Forcing humans to flee without their beloved pets only further traumatizes them.

I eagerly await your feedback on this matter of international concern. In the meantime, I intend to alert the media.




3a. United Kingdom Tells Nationals Evacuating Lebanon: DO NOT BRING PETS


We are conducting a phased evacuation of British Nationals from Lebanon. The British Embassy announces that British naval vessels are evacuating further British citizens to Cyprus from Wednesday 19 July.

* The Embassy will organise departure at the Beirut Forum Thursday 20 July from 9.30 am. British passport holders with their immediate families, whatever their nationality (provided they have valid travel documents), wishing to leave should report to the Beirut Forum from 9.30. We cannot guarantee what time the ships will sail.

* If you are able to reach the Beirut Forum before 3pm on today Wednesday we will do our best to put you on today’s ships. If we cannot do so, you will be asked to come back tomorrow as there is no accommodation in the Beirut Forum. We are expecting more ships in the next couple of days.

* You should bring travel documents, money/credit cards and one small bag which would be considered hand luggage if you were boarding a plane. You will be sent home to repack if you arrive with larger luggage.

* If you are a male British-Lebanese dual national born between 1973 and 1986, you will need to have your papers showing that you have completed your military service or have been exempted from it.

* Do not bring pets, household staff or non-immediate family or friends who are not British citizens, or larger bags and cases. None of these will be allowed on the ships under any circumstances.

* You do not need to contact us again if you decide to come to the Forum today.


3b. Canada Tells Citizens Evacuating Lebanon: NO PETS
SOURCE: National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post) (Canada)
July 18, 2006 Tuesday; NEWS; Pg. A2

Ottawa hires cruise ships for evacuation: Cyprus, then home by air: As many as 50,000 Canadians believed to be in Lebanon

Juliet O’Neill, CanWest News Service

OTTAWA – The Conservative government plans to evacuate at least 20,000 — and as many as 50,000 — Canadians from Lebanon to Cyprus by cruise ships, starting tomorrow, authorities said yesterday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said the government has chartered six cruise ships, each with a capacity of 600 to 900 passengers, to start picking up Canadians at the port of Beirut as of midday. They will ferry evacuees back and forth for at least three days, possibly more.

The government doesn’t know how many Canadians want out, but the number of those registered with the government has doubled to about 25,000 in the past few days and about 50,000 are believed to be in the country. Mr. MacKay estimated a third of them are in the war torn south.

“The intensity right now of the bombing is such that to send people there, even to send buses or armoured cars, we don’t have that equipment on the ground,” he said.

A 16-member Canadian military contingency planning assistance team will oversee the evacuation at each end, ensuring orderly boarding of passengers based on a priority system that puts ill, injured or elderly people and women and children first, he said. Passengers will be allowed minimal luggage and no pets.

The plan is to have chartered flights at an airport in Cyprus to fly people back to Canada, Mr. MacKay said, although that part is still a bit sketchy and depends on numbers of people and the capacity of the airport.

For now, Canada has chartered three planes.

“Once they’re on the boat, there will be time to decide whether the flights have to take off right away, whether there might have to be an overnight. All of those logistical plans will be worked out by the teams on the ground,” Mr. McKay said.

Responding to a string of weekend reports in which Canadians complained they could not find out about evacuation or about their loved ones, Mr. MacKay defended the government’s communication system. He said wait times for those calling had been reduced to five minutes, that 40 more personnel were en route to Lebanon to help the embassy and that more than 100 “wardens” — Canadians who live in Lebanon — would help ensure communication among Canadians within the country.

Mr. MacKay rejected criticism that Canadians have had to wait too long to get in touch with the embassy or Foreign Affairs and that evacuation plans have lagged behind other countries and might not work smoothly. He said it’s easy to criticize from the sidelines, but that simply fuels insecurity, frustration and anger.

The United States is planning to evacuate several thousands of its citizens from Lebanon, while groups ranging from a few dozen to several hundred have already been rescued — mostly overland to Syria — by Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Denmark and Germany.

Officials in Jordan say about 1,200 people fleeing Lebanon through Syria have been arriving daily. Syria puts the number of evacuees crossing its border at about 100,000.

Raymonde Falco, Liberal citizenship and immigration critic, questioned why Canada had no evacuation underway while other countries were taking their citizens to safety.

Francine Lalone, Bloc Quebecois foreign affairs critic, said the government’s laxity in assembling an evacuation plan had deepened the anguish of Canadians stranded in Lebanon.

New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton expressed condolences to the El-Akhras family of Montreal, eight of whose members, including four young children, were killed when a bomb hit a house on Sunday in the southern Lebanese town of Aitaroun.


3c. The United States Orders Evacuating Citizens: NO PETS ALLOWED TO TRAVEL

public announcements and warden messages

Lebanon Situation Update / July 18, 2006

This Warden Message is to update Americans to the ongoing security concerns in Lebanon. The Embassy is monitoring the situation in Lebanon closely and is reviewing all options for assisting Americans who wish to depart Lebanon. The U.S. Department of State continues to work with the U.S. Department of Defense on a plan to help American citizens safely depart Lebanon. Additional information on departure plans, as it becomes available, will be released via the media, Embassy warden announcements, and on the Embassy website. The Department of State continues to work around the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens.

Beirut International Airport, which is severely damaged by bombings, remains closed. Americans who wish to depart Lebanon should prepare important travel documents such as a valid U.S. passport, birth certificates, and other civil documents such as marriage certificates, and medical records.

Once U.S.-sponsored travel arrangements are in place, travelers will each be allowed only one small suitcase. We give priority to U.S. citizens but will consider departure assistance to Legal Permanent Residents accompanying a U.S. citizen immediate family member. ONE guardian may accompany an American citizen minor, even if that guardian is not an American. The guardian must have a valid passport and a U.S. visa, if traveling to the U.S. We understand that neither Lebanese nor Americans need a visa to enter Cyprus. Pets will not be allowed to travel.

The Department of State has issued an updated Travel Warning, available at, alerting American citizens that, due to ongoing security concerns in Lebanon, the U.S. Embassy has been granted authorized departure status. Family members and non-emergency American employees have permission to depart Lebanon.

We continue to urge Americans to remain in a safe location. Although we understand that Syria is willing to admit Americans without visas, there have been reports of damage to the border crossings at Mesnaa and along the northern Lebanon-Syrian border. However, if people encounter difficulty at the border crossing into Syria, they should contact the American Embassy in Damascus at 963-11-333-1342. Americans who attempt such crossings are advised to exercise great caution when traveling on major roads as they are subject to an air strike at any time.

The U.S. Embassy remains open for business; however, Nonimmigrant Visa processing has been suspended. American Citizen Services and Immigrant Visa processing are functioning normally. American citizens are urged to continue to evaluate their personal security and to keep in contact with the U.S. Embassy for continuing information on developments.

For the latest security information, Americans should regularly monitor the Department’s web site at where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. The available time for these numbers of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S./federal holidays) has been extended to 24 hours a day until further notice.

Americans living or traveling in Lebanon who wish assistance departing Lebanon and have not yet registered are encouraged to register with Department of State by calling 888-407-4747 in the United States or 202-501-4444 outside the United States.


Remembering Shannon Moore


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