- Title: Gaza's growing pet population stretches scant vet resources
- Date: 17th October 2019
- Summary: NUSSEIRAT REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) DOG LOOKING AT OWNER, TALYA THABET THABET PLAYING WITH DOG THABET FEEDING DOG THABET'S DOG THABET DOING TRICKS WITH DOG (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DOG OWNER, TALYA THABET, SAYING: "I feel like I started to make people like dogs, because they started to come to me and ask questions such as why I am raising dogs as a woman and why I like them, so we start discussing this and I change their point of view. I even reached a point I don't see this animal as just a dog but as a silent friend." GAZA CITY, GAZA (RECENT) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF VETERINARY CLINIC VETERINARIAN, IMAD MORAD, CHECKING CAT VARIOUS OF MORAD TREATING CAT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VETERINARIAN, IMAD MORAD, SAYING: "We rely on human medical labs so we send samples there. They are good enough to take our requests whether stool, blood, or urine samples and they examine them and provide us with the results, and based on these results we decide the treatment. We need the right diagnosis so that we can provide the right treatment." VARIOUS OF BARAKAT FAMILY PLAYING WITH CAT CHILD HOLDING CAT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOTHER OF FIVE, SAMAH BARAKAT, SAYING: "I was shocked because of how difficult it is to care for pets in Gaza. We do not have clinics that receive them. Even the clinic that we sent our cat to is a good clinic and it did the job, but through very simple means and we also had to turn to physicians. It was really hard for us to be honest." BOY HOLDING CAT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BARAKAT'S SON, YOUSEF BARAKT, SAYING: "When I first saw her I got attached to her, it feels like she is part of the family, she is like my sister and that's how I treat her, the same way I treat any family member. She sleeps next to me, she lives with me, and whenever I see her, she gives me psychological support." GAZAN WHO HELPS STRAY ANIMALS, SAEED EL-AER, WALKING TOWARD STRAY DOGS AER GOING THROUGH BAG VARIOUS OF STRAY DOGS EATING FOOD HANDED OUT BY AER VARIOUS OF AER TREATING CAT AT HOME (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZAN WHO HELPS STRAY ANIMALS, SAEED EL-AER, SAYING: "I cannot see an animal in the street that needs help and treatment and just leave them, I have to take it with me to the house where we treat it and help it. I put some of them up for adoption." CAT AER SURROUNDED BY CATS BOY FEEDING CATS VARIOUS OF CATS EATING
- Embargoed: 31st October 2019 14:07
- Keywords: Gaza animals pets in Gaza Gaza pets vets in Gaza animal hospitals
- Location: NUSSEIRAT REFUGEE CAMP AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: NUSSEIRAT REFUGEE CAMP AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1HKK7P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Palestinians in Gaza are increasingly turning to domestic pets for emotional comfort from the harsh realities of the economically-depressed enclave but the growing animal population is stretching ill-equipped veterinarian facilities.
Some 130 veterinarians work in Gaza but the lack of animal hospitals means most have to turn to regular medical facilities and even to Israel to help care for ailing pets.
At Imad Morad's veterinary clinic, shelves are filled with pet food and medicine and his equipment includes an ultrasound machine. But for further care, he depends on human medical facilities.
In some rare cases, cats have been sent for treatment in Israel, which maintains tight restrictions along its border with the Islamist Hamas-run territory.
Pet owner Samah Barakat said she was shocked when she realised how tough it was to look after a pet in Gaza.
When the family cat fell ill, "was really hard for us," to seek treatment for the pet, she added.
Unlike cats, dogs are considered unclean in Islam and are usually kept outside, but there is no ban on them.
Dog ownership, however, is becoming more popular and pet food is increasingly available in shops.
Owners walking their dogs on Gaza's streets are now a common sight.
Saeed el-Aer, a retired civil servant, trawls the streets carrying a bag full of food and medicine, looking for abandoned cats and dogs.
He said he just cannot walk away from an animal in need and must bring it home to care for it.
(Production: Fadi Shana, Nihad Khalil, Suheir Sheikh)
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