Tuesday, January 28th | 2 Shevat 5780

Subscribe
October 17, 2019 10:36 am

Gaza’s Growing Pet Population Stretches Scant Vet Resources

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Palestinian woman Talya Thabet teaches a dog obedience commands in the central Gaza Strip, Oct. 16, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Mohammed Salem.

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 get help 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.

“We send blood and urine samples to human labs for examination. It wasn’t until two years ago when they started taking our requests. We also use them for X-rays,” Morad said.

Related coverage

January 28, 2020 11:01 am
0

Abbas Calls Trump a ‘Son of a Dog,’ Calls for ‘Resistance’

JNS.org - Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas railed against US President Donald Trump in a closed-door meeting with the Fatah...

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.

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.

“When someone raises a pet he feels like getting a new friend in his or her life, a friend who cares for him or her more than usual human friends do,” said Saeed el-Aer, a retired civil servant who trawls the streets carrying a bag full of food and medicine, looking for abandoned cats and dogs.

At a Gaza pet shop, its owner, Baha Ghaben, said opening the business had been a risk.

But, he said: “We were surprised at the large number of people who raised pets at home. I sell between ten to twenty animals a month.”

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

Algemeiner.com

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.