Feature: Veterinary ambulance provides treatment for animals in West Bank

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by Sanaa Kamal

RAMALLAH, March 31 (Xinhua) — The West Bank has not seen such an initiative before, a veterinary ambulance that’s roaming the Palestinian West Bank governorates to provide treatment to animals.

The ambulance staff, equipped with all necessary equipment and tools, includes a vet, his assistant, and a driver.

The project was launched by the Palestinian Animal Welfare Society, the only institution working on animal protection in the West Bank.

“We aim to provide medical care for all kinds of animals, stray or domestic, in order to keep them alive,” Ahmed Jadallah, a 28-year-old veterinarian from Ramallah city, told Xinhua.

Jadallah said the ambulance treats about 15 animals a day, including dogs, cats, donkeys, and horses. They also conduct surgeries and sometimes transfer the animals that suffer from severe health problems to a vet hospital in their headquarters of the institution.

“The veterinary ambulance contributed greatly to the saving of hundreds of animals that were in danger, especially the stray ones that are usually exposed to violence from people, who tend to poison them, hit them with sticks, or even shoot them,” he said.

After the animals are treated, they are released in wild areas of the West Bank, where they are unlikely to be hurt by the people.

Mohammed Mousa, a 27-year-old vet assistant, said he is happy to reach all the areas of the West Bank, providing treatment to the animals. He is also happy to raise awareness about animals’ rights and how to protect them.

“Animals cannot express their pain and usually remain struggling with death alone without being able to ask for help. So, it is important for citizens to assume their human responsibilities towards vulnerable living creatures,” Mousa said.

The West Bank recorded a remarkable increase in the violations committed against animals, especially the stray ones, which led to the death of a number of them in the streets, according to Ahmed Safi, head of the Palestinian Association for Animal Welfare.

This was the reason the Palestinian Association for Animal Welfare was created in the first place in 2011.

“We deliver spay and neuter surgery for street dogs, provide veterinary treatment and care for working horses and donkeys and work with young people to develop community-based animal and environmental protection projects,” he added.

Safi added that the association has presented many projects related to animal welfare in the West Bank, including providing food for animals and awareness-raising that helps locals learn about animal rights and urges them to assist them instead of torturing or killing them.

Yet, the association faces many difficulties that prevent providing services to protect and care for animals, including the lack of sufficient funding.

Heba Saadallah, a young Palestinian woman from the city of Jenin, praised the services provided by the association for animals, especially since she did not need to travel a long distance to give her dog a proper surgery.

“I contacted the association through its website and was surprised by their quick response. They came to my house to inspect my dog,” Saadallah told Xinhua.

“Thanks to their help, my dog got rid of its constant pain and recovered and played all day long in the garden of the house,” the young woman said, flashing a smile. Enditem

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