How This Animal Shelter Is Saving the Lives of Dogs Amidst Conflict

Sulala Animal Shelter, Gaza’s sole animal sanctuary, stands as a testament to human tenacity and compassion amidst the backdrop of conflict. Overlooking the harrowing visuals of smoke from shelling and the deafening roars of explosions, this shelter is a refuge for over 400 dogs and 130 cats, many of whom have known no other home.

Gaza's Only Animal Shelter Fights to Protect Hundreds of Dogs Amidst War

Shelter Turns Toys Into Wheelchairs for Paralysed Animals

Beyond the daily challenges of ensuring food and safety for the animals, Sulala, which means ‘animal’ in Arabic, faces a unique predicament: a significant number of its inhabitants are disabled. Yet, adversity seems to spur innovation here. Wheels from discarded children’s toys and bicycles are transformed into mobility aids.

These makeshift prosthetics breathe life into animals like Lucy, a dog rendered paraplegic after an accident. With her new set of wheels, Lucy roams with an enthusiasm that belies her physical condition.

A Shelter Unlike Any Other

The shelter’s infrastructure itself, spread across five acres, is a deviation from western norms. It’s an open space where dogs roam freely. There are no kennels. Sulula as wanted to build an actual shelter with walls, but funds have not allowed and certainly now in the midst of strife and uncertainty an physical building would be pointless.

smoke from the explosions

Mealtime: Routine Amidst the Unpredictable

Gaza's Only Animal Shelter Fights to Protect Hundreds of Dogs Amidst War

At the shelter, mealtime is more than just feeding; it’s a poignant display of survival instincts and unity. As the rescuers pour ample amounts of food into large troughs, the clinking reverberates, summoning the dogs. They come charging, driven by hunger and anticipation.

The above video show dogs running to eat & the shelter workers pouring food into the communal eating area

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Dominant dogs stake their claim at the forefront and the more subdued ones patiently await their turn. Despite this hierarchy, the shelter’s team remains vigilant, ensuring every animal gets its fill. This daily ritual not only underscores the shelter’s pressing challenges but also showcases the remarkable spirit of its animal residents and the unwavering dedication of the caregivers.

Gaza's Only Animal Shelter Fights to Protect Hundreds of Dogs Amidst War

Braving the Storm: Evacuations and Rescues

As the conflict rages on, the shelter has been proactive, not just reactive. When residents received a chilling 24-hour evacuation notice, Sulala’s team, undeterred by the evident risks, ensured both pets and their owners found safety. This drive stems from a belief that every life, human or animal, is worth saving.

A Plea for Global Support

Yet, the shelter’s pleas are simple: donations to sustain their operations and global awareness of their situation. With the area cut off, they rely heavily on international aid, having received support from as far as Australia and Britain.

Sulula Is A Safehaven

But perhaps the most telling statement of Sulala’s impact comes from its residents. Despite the chaos, more animals, sensing a haven, have been finding their way to the shelter. It’s a silent vote of confidence, an affirmation that in combat’s grim theater, places like Sulala offer a glimmer of hope.

For more updates and to support the shelter, visit their official Instagram page: Sulala Animal Rescue.

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