IDA: Animal Companions Abandoned in Lebanon Need Help

August 23rd, 2006 9:33 pm by Kelly Garbato

The following is an excerpt from IDA’s eNews, 8-23-06. Please note that you can also make a donation to BETA directly at http://animals.beirut.com/donate.php.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: Aug 23, 2006 7:44 PM
Subject: IDA eNews: 08-23-06

2. Animal Companions Abandoned in Lebanon Need Help

Rescue group needs emergency funds to feed, shelter and protect survivors

In only 36 days of fighting between Lebanon and Israel, approximately 1,000 Lebanese and 163 Israelis have been killed — at least 900 of these casualties of war being civilians. While a cease-fire negotiated by the United Nations has slowed the death toll, further destruction seems almost inevitable. It has been a brutal conflict for both sides, and all kinds of animals are suffering terribly alongside human beings as the fighting continues.

The mass evacuation of Lebanon has caused a major crisis for guardians abroad as some world governments order their citizens to leave helpless animal companions behind to face almost certain death from rocket strikes, starvation or disease. While the French, for instance, made arrangements to evacuate animals along with people, the U.S. government forced 25,000 evacuees to abandon their animal companions in the combat zone soon after the bombs started to fall over a month ago. In this instance, it seems that U.S. officials have learned nothing from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, in which thousands of Gulf Region residents courageously chose to stay and face deadly flood waters rather than abandon their beloved animals in their time of greatest need.

Now tens of thousands of animals are trapped in the middle of a deadly military conflict with no means of escape or survival. There remains one main rescue group in Lebanon — Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) — and they’re hanging on by a thread. After their shelter was destroyed by missiles, they managed to evacuate dozens of dogs and cats to an abandoned pig farm in the hills around Beirut donated by a generous German supporter. While over one million people have fled Lebanon over the past several weeks, BETA volunteers have vowed to stay with and protect the rescued animals even at extreme risk to their own lives.

What You Can Do:

BETA desperately needs emergency funds to buy food and medicine from nearby countries in the Middle East. You can donate money to support BETA’s lifesaving efforts through the Best Friends Rescue Fund (http://network.bestfriends.org/middleeast). Be sure to indicate in the “comments” section of the donation form that you want your contribution to go to BETA’s rescue efforts.

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