Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More on Suffering and Plight of Abandoned Animals in Lebanon Due to Israeli Invasion

I think these quotes sum it up:

“In south Lebanon, war is taking a toll on those animals that did not escape with their masters. The carcasses of cats, dogs, goats, and sheep litter the roads, mowed down by fleeing villagers careening out of the hills in packed automobiles.”

"I saw a dog. His tongue was hanging so far out from hunger and thirst," recalled the fighter, who gave his name simply as Hussein. "I gave him my last can of tuna. If I showed mercy on the dog maybe God will show mercy on me."

“In the village of Srifa, another Hezbollah stronghold that has endured its share of Israeli bombardment, a donkey with its front leg snared in a tangle of toppled fencing, brays desperately.”

“Horses amble down the town's main street. Their owners have long since fled. A stray cow forages for food in the kitchen of an abandoned home.”

“But "animals don't know political lines," says Rokke. In war and times of crisis "at least there is an infrastructure for humans, but not for animals," she says.”


Article:

Animals also suffering in Lebanon conflict: rights group

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060806/sc_afp/
mideastconflictlebanonanimals_060806214618

by Jailan Zayan Sun Aug 6, 5:46 PM ET

BEIRUT (AFP) - Even as hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon suffer from
Israel's military offensive, a US rights group is drawing attention as well to the plight of animals caught under the rain of bombs.
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Activists from the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group have been handing out leaflets explaining how to help animals caught under the strikes of Israel's 25-day assault on its northern neighbour.

In south Lebanon, war is taking a toll on those animals that did not escape with their masters. The carcasses of cats, dogs, goats, and sheep litter the roads, mowed down by fleeing villagers careening out of the hills in packed automobiles.

The flyers, which have been handed out to citizens, military, police and NGOs, urge people who see animals in distress to set them free if they are tied up, give them water and if possible take them in.

As a last resort, the guidelines say, the animals should be shot at point-blank range.

"War is absolute hell for animals too," said Michelle Rokke, a disaster relief coordinator with PETA who came to Lebanon from New Mexico last week to rescue animals.

"The bombs are falling, and just like there are human casualties, there are animal casualties," said Rokke, who worked as an undercover investigator for PETA for four years.

PETA got as far south as Tyre, but could not go far beyond as access by road has been blocked by the Lebanese army, whose men were eager to lend a helping hand for the sake of the suffering animals.

"There are places we couldn't reach but Lebanese soldiers would take dog food from us and go feed the dogs themselves," said Rokke who plans to take cats and dogs out of the country and re-house them with new owners abroad.

In Bint Jbeil, a village devastated by the full might of the Israeli offensive, a Hezbollah fighter says that in the midst of the fierce battle he found kinship with a four-legged friend.

"I saw a dog. His tongue was hanging so far out from hunger and thirst," recalled the fighter, who gave his name simply as Hussein. "I gave him my last can of tuna. If I showed mercy on the dog maybe God will show mercy on me."

In the village of Srifa, another Hezbollah stronghold that has endured its share of Israeli bombardment, a donkey with its front leg snared in a tangle of toppled fencing, brays desperately.

Horses amble down the town's main street. Their owners have long since fled. A stray cow forages for food in the kitchen of an abandoned home.

Local Hezbollah leaders are less sympathetic to the livestock's plight.

"The Americans care more about their animals than they do humans," says Haj Rabia Abou Hussein, a 40-year-old field commander. "Their pets take vacations."

But "animals don't know political lines," says Rokke. In war and times of crisis "at least there is an infrastructure for humans, but not for animals," she says.

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