Animal welfare in Syria
Help for animals around Idlib
In search of peace and security, millions of Syrians left their homeland - and had to leave their animals behind. Resident veterinarians also gradually fled the country, so that in regions like Idlib, as far as we know, there was no longer any basic veterinary care for the countless cats, dogs, donkeys, horses, sheep and other farm animals. In order to alleviate the immense suffering of animals in Syria - even in the challenging times of the corona pandemic - we are working together with our partner House of Cats Ernesto (HCE).
The civil war in parts of Syria has been going on for more than ten years. In regions like Idlib, an unimaginable degree of destruction can be seen to this day - in between there are many animals, some of which were left behind and were unable to accompany their owners on the run.
The only help for countless animals
Numerous stray cats and dogs with untreated diseases and injuries reproducing uncontrollably are completely on their own. Even the remaining or returned people who keep animals such as donkeys, cattle, horses and sheep are hardly able to provide adequate veterinary care for their animals, let alone find appropriate offers.
With our help, the veterinarian Dr. Mohammad Youssef is on duty in the Idlib region and provides life-saving care for all animals in need while other veterinarians based in the region only care for farm animals. There is no other help for cats and dogs - regardless of whether they are with their owners or if they are straying.
The work of our partner organization House of Cats Ernesto (HCE), which has created a small refuge for animals in Idlib, is all the more important: We enable the work of HCE as part of a sanctuary (consisting of a home for pets and a farm for farm animals) by assuming the costs for salaries and medication and also set up a mobile and stationary veterinary clinic for animals in need.
We are engaged in mobile veterinary services …
If he is called for help, Dr. Youssef crosses the region with a veterinary assistant to pick up and care for animals in need. Stray dogs and cats in particular are treated, but farms are also visited by livestock owners. The animals are given vitamins to strengthen their immune system and anti-parasitic drugs. Vaccinations are also carried out. In response to emergencies, the team also travels long distances to the surrounding regions of Idlib - in some cases despite great risks in the face of ongoing acts of war.
... and an inpatient clinic
In 2019, we also opened a veterinary practice in Idlib, where owners can bring their pets for free treatments, vaccinations and castrations. In addition to the salaries for the employees, we secure the rent and costs, such as medication and other veterinary equipment.
As a result of the practice, not only stray animals benefit from veterinary care, but increasingly also domestic and farm animals in the region. Even seriously injured animals that are picked up during mobile operations can find care and custody in the practice.
In order to be able to guarantee the immense need for animal help, we have expanded the team around Dr. Youssef by two employees with many years of experience in the field of emergency care and organisation. The team now carries out around 300 to 400 veterinary treatments per month - mobile and stationary.
Information work for long-term improvements
In order to make the veterinary offer of our project known and to strengthen animal welfare awareness in the population, the employees also actively approach the population. For example, cat food is distributed to local pet owners - together with a flyer informing about the benefits of neutering. This information and education work is continued in the areas of the region where the current war situation allows it and the team does not expose itself to any additional danger.
The corona pandemic brings with it further challenges
With the spread of the coronavirus in Syria, the situation worsened as the already great shortage of essential goods such as water, food and medication was exacerbated by the pandemic. The provision of essential goods is still associated with high costs today (as of December 2021).
In order to ensure that the team is protected from infection in this emergency situation and to be able to continue to provide help for the animals within the framework of the mobile and stationary clinic, we provided additional help with funds from the WTG emergency aid fund. The acquisition of hygiene products as well as a supply of medicines, cleaning materials and other veterinary utensils, which are essential for the continuation of the work, was promoted.
Dr. Youssef and the team can - despite this crisis - do the valuable animal welfare work.
Dear animal lovers, only the combination of mobile services and stationary clinic makes it possible to improve animal welfare in the Idlib region. Please support the project - with your donation!