A youth initiative to save stray animals from the aftermath of the Corona crisis

 Palestinian youth recently launched an initiative of the first of its kind, to save stray animals after their reality was further complicated by the repercussions of the emerging Corona Virus crisis (Covid-19).

The initiative, which is called "The Animal Rescue Team in Palestine", has accomplished several tasks to rescue stray animals whose conditions have deteriorated due to the ongoing emergency in Palestine for the second month in the face of the virus.

Dean Jabr, 38, one of the initiators of the initiative and an employee of an international humanitarian institution, says that the team of four people took the initiative to protect stray animals and help them obtain food and shelter under the current difficult circumstances.

Gabr adds: "We found an urgent need to launch the initiative in light of the state of closure and the inability to reach many places to care for some animals that need help, according to the simple capabilities."

Among the initiative's contributions is dealing with seven small dogs "puppies" in Ramallah that the mother left in one of the buildings under construction and was poisoned.

The young team provided food to the pups on a daily basis to maintain their life and support in the absence of their ability to move to obtain food.

The team resorted to publishing appeals on social media to provide treatment and safe havens for the pups, which contributed to placing them at a veterinarian who provided the treatment until the risk phase was over.

The group works to save sick animals, harbor them safely, sterilize them, and provide them with appropriate health care, while securing homes or families they wish to adopt.

According to the initiators of the initiative, the imposition of home quarantine and the prevention of movement for most of the day and the stop of economic establishments from working reduced the possibility of street animals to get their food.

The group is working to provide some aid through volunteers, either by providing food or treatment to these animals.

Jabr explains that residents were spreading rumors about the possibility of street animals transmitting the Corona virus to humans, which led to an increase in hostility towards it and low levels of interest in it.

The young team is interested in providing assistance to animals in terms of their offer to adopt or provide a safe haven for them until they are able to live better.

On the other hand, volunteers complain of a lack of resources, given the high cost of veterinary treatment and pet food and housing.

Imad al-Atrash, director of the Wildlife Society in the West Bank, stresses the importance of the youth initiative in saving many stray animals as their conditions are further deteriorated due to the emergency and the Corona virus.

Al-Atrash says: The fact that the closure and the reduction of movement due to the home quarantine gave many animals more margin of freedom of movement and movement, but that does not mean their ability to obtain safe food sources.

He adds that stray animals in Palestine lack food sources, especially with the tendency to clean roads and remove waste more quickly within the framework of measures to limit the spread of the virus in Palestine.

There is no animal protection law in Palestine, which prompted the only Palestinian Animal Welfare Association working in the animal protection field in the West Bank to launch a draft proposal years ago to prepare a detailed draft legislation for animal welfare but it has not yet seen the light.

The president of the association, Ahmed Safi, stresses that there is a need to improve the Palestinian environment to be more friendly to the animal, especially the displaced animals, by raising societal awareness of the importance of medical care for pets, and providing the necessary grafts and treatments throughout the year.


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