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Saving Animals in the Line of Fire






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Four tons of food and hundreds of water containers are sent to northern Israel


Abandoned puppies drink from containers
provided by CHAI/Hakol Chai.
Photo: Avi Hirschfield


July 2006: Working through the night to avoid the danger of rocket fire, Hakol Chai, CHAI's Israeli sister charity, rushed four tons of food and hundreds of plastic water containers to the northern Israeli community of Nes Amim, near Nahariya, where volunteers immediately began the process of distributing it to animals in need throughout the region.


While terrified residents in the north remain prisoners in their homes, another kind of humanitarian disaster is taking place on the streets. Starving and dehydrated cats and dogs, some injured, many lost, are running in panic from the explosions of rockets. Some residents left their cats and dogs behind when they evacuated, believing they would return soon. In other cases, animals fled the sound of missiles, became disoriented, and lost their way. Without food and water, they are desperate for help.


Volunteers unload food sent to the north
by CHAI/Hakol Chai.  Photo: Avi Hirschfield


Part of Hakol Chai's relief shipment was donated by the pet food company, Purina, and by the container manufacturer, Madaf-Plazit. The rest was purchased with donations from caring people around the world eager to help in this crisis.


At midnight, the delivery van carrying the much-needed supplies pulled in to Nes Amim, where it was met by the coordinator for volunteers in the north. While rockets exploded in the background, local Dutch and German residents helped unload bag after bag of food and begin the distribution process. Afterwards, Hakol Chai's rescue team quickly moved on to Akko, responding to a report of animals abandoned in cages behind a house. As they went, they saw dogs and cats desperate for food and water everywhere on the streets.


Entering the back yard location in search of the animals, Hakol Chai's team was soon joined by police, alerted by neighbors alarmed by the sounds in the night. As soon as the police took stock of the situation, they joined Hakol Chai's efforts. Three dogs, eight puppies, pigeons and rabbits in small cages, 20 chickens, parrots, and numerous cats had been abandoned. All animals were fed and watered, and the volunteer coordinator was alerted. The animals are now being transported to foster homes until permanent ones can be found. The team worked until 3 A.M. putting out food and water on the streets of the city and in backyards. Then the noise of the explosions grew louder, and they were forced to head south.


"We are obligated to care for animals in the line of fire, too," says Yadin Elam, Director of Hakol Chai. "We cannot watch these terrible scenes day after day and fail to act."


CHAI/Hakol Chai will donate additional shipments of food and water containers, as needed. We have also been asked to help evacuate horses. One hundred percent of donations made to help in the crisis will go directly toward the rescue efforts.


Please help us help these animals.


Volunteers prepare donated food for
distribution.     Photo: Avi Hirschfield


(This video has no sound)



Farmers report that due to stress, cows are producing less milk, and the shells of chicken eggs are so thin they fall apart in their hands when they try to pick them up. Seventeen cows and seven calves were killed by bombs falling on Kibbutz Amir, near Kiryat Shmona. Three dogs were killed when a bomb hit a house in Kiryat Shmona inside which they had been tied up and left by their guardian, who evacuated the area. Two more dogs were killed on the streets. Some animals have been injured. Fire fighters are working to extinguish the fires in the northern forests, but many animals, including endangered eagles, may perish.