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Hakol Chai Enters Gaza
to Rescue Abandoned Animals






Planning the Rescue

Rescuing Abandoned Animals in Gaza

Rescuing Animals in the West Bank

Stories from the Rescuers






  August 24, 2005

 August 19, 2005

  August 17, 2005



In Gaza, Tzachi, a veterinarian with the Hakol Chai team, rescues a cat, and Yafit, a staff member, rescues a turkey



August 24, 2005, day 5: Hakol Chai's clinic again entered Gaza, searching for animals abandoned by departing settlers.


 Hakol Chai volunteer & Tali, Hakol Chai staff member, with a very fortunate little dog!


So far, we have picked up cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, lizards, ducks, geese, and even parakeets. Seventeen thirsty goats found without water were given water, and their location was reported to the Veterinary Services. A dog was found who had been stolen five years before, resulting in a dispute between his original guardians, identified by a microchip, and his current ones. A tiny kitten hanging on the edge of survival was saved by Hakol Chai's veterinarian. Forty parakeets in a cage were removed from one home. A "pinat chai," or animal corner for children, was found with lizards, ducks, and geese.


Yafit, Hakol Chai's mobile clinic assistant, rescuing a chicken

The Army escorted the clinic from settlement to settlement, and it has now traveled everywhere within the Gush Katif region in southern Gaza, including Morag, Neve Dekalim, Shalev, Atzmona, Netzer Hazani, Gan Or, and Rafiah Yam, and also to Kfar Darom and Netzarim in the center of Gaza. Hakol Chai's clinic is the only mobile clinic, with veterinarian and trained staff, working in the territories. Our work in Gaza has been filmed by the Army, and footage has been featured on the main TV station in Israel. Radio channels and newspapers, print and online, in Israel and abroad have also carried the story, including the BBC.

Our mobile clinic next to an abandoned house in
Gaza, ready to accept the animals left behind

Avi, Hakol Chai's photographer,
with parakeets





August 19, 2005, day 1: Today, Hakol Chai's mobile spay/neuter clinic, veterinarian, and staff entered Gaza to begin rescuing animals abandoned there. The clinic's first stop was Morag, where they rescued dogs and cats left behind by departing settlers.



Mobile clinic entering Gaza


Two kittens just before they were rescued


Dog being put into clinic by Tali, Hakol Chai staff member, with soldiers' help






August 17, 2005: Yesterday, at the Erez checkpoint, the Israeli Army briefed a contingent of animal protection organizations before granting them entry into the Gaza settlements to rescue the animals left behind. With this permission from the Army and the Veterinary Services, Hakol Chai, CHAI's Israeli-based sister charity, will enter Gaza with its 23 foot mobile spay/neuter clinic, equipped with 30 cages, humane traps, experienced veterinarian and two veterinary assistants, plus dedicated volunteers to assist in a special mission — rescuing animals settlers leave behind.


At the Erez checkpoint: Hakol Chai staff and Israeli soldiers


"Israel's expressed intention to be sensitive and behave responsibly during the disengagement should apply to all living beings," says Hakol Chai's Director. "Cats and dogs left behind by departing settlers have no ability to survive under the extreme conditions that will exist during and after the disengagement. Without our help, when all that remains is dust and ruins, those who escape the massive bulldozers will die of hunger, thirst, and injuries."


Some of the animals who are the object of the charity's concern are abandoned strays, others are companion animals left behind by settlers sent to hotels or moving to apartments not large enough to house them all. Rescued animals will be transferred to shelters, and Hakol Chai/CHAI will help with efforts to find homes for them. The contingent of rescue organizations was coordinated by the Veterinary Services within the Agriculture Ministry, which is charged with dealing with animals in the territories.


Through its attorneys, Hakol Chai appealed to Ilan Cohen, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's office, Israel Katz, Minister of Agriculture, Shalom Simhon, Minister of the Environment, and Ehud Olmert, Minister of Finance, asking them to allocate funds for this life-saving rescue mission, either through the special fund set aside to help animals within the Ministry of the Environment, or to the official charged with animal issues within the Ministry of Agriculture, Dganit Ben-Dov, DVM.


Hakol Chai's Director appealed to settlers being evacuated: "If you have difficulty finding a solution for your companion animals or for the strays you have been feeding, please do not abandon them, thinking they will manage. The combination of circumstances will result in their suffering and death. Let us help you!" And to the public: "Please show compassion and adopt these animal refugees to your home and heart to prevent their needless suffering."