Bethlehem is a special place in the minds of millions of people and will be forever associated with compassion, love and kindness. But sadly, in 2020, this does not apply to dogs who struggle to survive on the streets. What we saw in Bethlehem was shocking. Thousands of dogs are suffering from shameful abuse.
Bethlehem’s street dogs are routinely shot, poisoned and burned with acid!
Our teams are used to encountering animal cruelty, but what we saw in Bethlehem would make even the most hard-hearted person weep.
Poverty is the fundamental problem (this has been exacerbated by COVID-19 which has hit the area hard). But also contributing to the dogs’ plight is that many people who live in the region see them as vermin, often prompted by religious doctrines. The result is that street dogs are often casually - and brutally - killed.
Here are two examples:
First, there was Noa. A cruel person threw acid over her, causing horrible burns. She was found in the pouring rain, shivering in unbearable pain - and blinded. We tried to save her, and she fought bravely but, sadly, succumbed to her wounds. It’s impossible to imagine how someone could be so cruel.
Then, there was Annabelle, a puppy who had been chained, abandoned and left to die. She had fought so desperately to free herself that the chain around her neck had cut deep into her flesh, causing bloody wounds.
When we found Annabelle, she was weak from hunger and whimpering in pain, but when she saw us, she wagged her tail and licked our hands as we carefully removed the chain from her bloody neck. The good news is that she is now at a foster home and is doing well. Soon, working with friends in the area, our team will find her a loving forever family.
You can help us turn around this deplorable situation. If it is at all possible, please will you help today?
Our team met with the Animal Environmental Association (AEA), a small organization that is working to help the abused dogs of Bethlehem. They run a small shelter that is currently a temporary home to 46 dogs who depend on AEA to keep them safe, and to feed and love them until foster and forever homes are found.
The simple truth is that without the help of animal lovers like you, Bethlehem’s street dogs will continue to suffer and die. There are so many dogs in such desperate need that animal lovers like us must step up now to help. They need us so desperately.
It is estimated that more than 1,000 dogs “live” on the streets in Bethlehem. They are in such need that AEA urgently needs a bigger space so they can rescue many more of them.
Our team met with Nicola Khamis, the mayor of nearby town Beit Jala. As a dog lover himself, he understood immediately and agreed to help - and this established tremendous momentum. SEVEN municipalities have now banded together to provide a suitable land piece so AEA can create a much larger shelter and save many more dogs.
The next step is to construct the shelter. The first task is to fence the 5,000 square meter (almost 6,000 square yards) area. To do so (we hope with your help) we must raise $5,000 (£3,900) as soon as possible.
Once the fencing is up, AEA can immediately start saving more animal lives!
So, please be as generous as you can today. Add the street dogs of Bethlehem to your holiday gift list.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Dogs are such extraordinary creatures. With your support, you have our word that we will make certain that the dogs of Bethlehem get a very special present this holiday season.