Animal welfare inmidst of destruction
First aid for distressed animals in the war zone Aleppo
The images of the civil war in Syria have been defining the news almost daily for nearly seven years - and the fight continues in some regions to this day. In cities like Aleppo, the war has left an unimaginable amount of destruction, as well as many animals that were left behind when their owners fled the war scene. The results are uncontrolled breeding/reproduction of dogs and cats as well as numerous untreated illnesses and injuries. Together with our partner organisation Il Gattaro d'Aleppo (IGA), the Welttierschutzgesellschaft is helping the animals in the province of Aleppo as well as in the area around Idlib.
For almost seven years there has been war resulting a hopeless situation for people in Syria (officially: the Syrian Arab Republic) - as well as for local animals.
Mohammad Alaa Abenni (short: Alaa), also known as the Cat Man of Aleppo, cares for the animals in the province of Aleppo since the outbreak of the war. He finances his work through the support from our partner organisation Il Gattaro d'Aleppo (IGA). During the ongoing/long-lasting battle for Aleppo almost all resident veterinarians left the region, so no basic veterinary care was available. In recent times more and more people are returning to Aleppo and the sourrounding districts. One of them ist Dr. Med Mohammad Youssef, who worked in a veterinary clinic in Damascus for years and initially supported Alaa as a volunteer.
Every day, the veterinarian travels the considerable distance of 100 kilometers to get from his house in Idlib to the provisional veterinary practice in the outskirts of Aleppo). To support his much needed work, Welttierschutzgesellschaft pays the veterinarian’s salary and provides a monthly allowance for medications, as far as they are available.
Dr. Mohammad Youssef takes care of animals in Alaa's animal shelter as well as distressed animals on the streets. His patients include cats and dogs as well as farm animals such as donkeys and cows. He also often receives calls from pet owners who have heard of the possibility for veterinary treatment.
As far as we know Dr. Youssef is currently the only veterinarian in the Aleppo area. As every animal life counts for him, he dedicatedly treats wounds, gives vitamins to boost the immune system and administers antiparasitic treatment. - every animal life counts for him.
Due to ongoing war situation, the work in this project is currently limited to basic veterinary care, which is also limited through an acute shortage of medicines - first aid is the motto. It is not foreseeable when and how much the work can be expanded in the future.