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Animal Rescue : BETA
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 Message 1 of 2 in Discussion 
From: Conrad  (Original Message)Sent: 8/16/2006 4:32 PM

Dear Members & Friends,


In the latest war in the Middle East, animals have been among the most forgotten victims.


But not for you. In fact, you’ve been the main lifeline to save hundreds of dogs and cats from the chaos and carnage in Lebanon. Since my last e-mail, you’ve donated more than $25,000 to the Best Friends Rescue Fund for the folks at BETA (Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to care for the dogs and cats they’ve moved from shelters that were damaged in the bombing raids.


Last week, they were also featured on ABC World News Tonight, and more than 100 people called BETA offering to adopt the dogs. (We’ve heard that Nightline is planning to cover the story, too, this week.)


More news about this rescue effort is at


NEXT STEPS: Working with BETA, we’ve looked into lots of possible options for these dogs. But there’s so much damage to the country that taking care of them there, finding them new homes in the region, or moving them one at a time to new situations is pretty much impossible.


So we’ve agreed to have Best Friends be the staging area for adoptions in the United States. We can provide all the health and behavior assessments and home checks, and then the dogs will be able to go directly to GOOD NEW ADOPTIVE HOMES.


(Some people may ask why we’re helping animals abroad when the needs are still great in our own country. But this important rescue effort won't affect the regular work of Best Friends, and we see it as a major opportunity to show the value of kindness and caring in a region that’s so dominated by hatred and violence.)


Placing the dogs in new homes will, in many ways, be the easy part. Bringing them out of Lebanon to safety is a greater challenge. So:


THE PLAN is to fly all 150 dogs to the United States as soon as possible. Most likely we’ll need to drive them from Lebanon to Jordan and fly them from there. And once they’re at Best Friends, we’ll give them further health and behavior checkups, and move them to their new homes as quickly as possible.


(After Hurricane Katrina, incidentally, we were able to get help chartering planes that could carry large numbers of dogs to safety, so we’re going to try the same thing again. It’s a longer distance this time, and will be more expensive. But, between us all, we can do it.)


DETAILS:  We’ll keep you up to date on how these plans are transpiring on the Best Friends Network website at




*  YOUR DONATION, large or small, for this rescue effort is invaluable. To add your support to the Best Friends Rescue Fund, please go to:


* DO YOU HAVE CONTACTS IN THE AIR TRAVEL WORLD? We need to evacuate the dogs in just one or a very few large loads. If you can help organize and/or secure the donation of such a flight, this will be a huge help. Please e-mail


* ADOPTIONS:  We already have a lot of adoption applications, and we’ll be taking more. But right now we need to focus on the evacuation. So we'll let you know more about adoptions later.


* CATS: Yes, cat lovers, there are cats, too! But they don’t yet have health certificates, and there are some other issues to be sorted out before we can start working on that. Meanwhile, we have plenty on our hands getting the dogs taken care of. So we’ll have more on the cats after that.


Again, you can get up-to-date news every day at:


Thanks so much. And please keep this major rescue effort in your thoughts and prayers, too. Together, we can all play a part in salvaging some truly innocent creatures from the carnage of war.


Michael Mountain

Best Friends Animal Society

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 Message 2 of 2 in Discussion 
From: ConradSent: 9/22/2006 6:20 PM

Dear Members & Friends,


COUNTDOWN TO LIFT-OFF: We’re now entering the FINAL STAGES of preparation for the airlift of dogs and cats from their temporary sanctuary outside of Beirut.


FLIGHT DETAILS: All being well, about 300 animals will board a cargo flight one night early next week. The flight will stop to refuel at Manchester in the U.K. and then at JFK to clear customs and refuel, continuing on to Las Vegas for an evening arrival, when temperatures are cool. The dogs and cats will then board Best Friends trucks for the final leg of the journey to the sanctuary.


Traveling with the dogs and cats will be members of the Best Friends rapid response team, the vet team, and volunteers from Lebanon’s only humane society, Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA).


BACKGROUND: You’ll recall that the BETA folks LOST THEIR SHELTERS DURING THE RECENT WAR, and have been caring for these homeless pets at a temporary refuge. These amazing volunteers have been coping with unparalleled challenges, including death threats to the dogs, a nationwide lack of cat food, and the near impossibility of finding any new adoptive homes locally.


Best Friends staff and volunteers have been on the ground for some time now, helping to care for the animals and prepare for the airlift. This whole operation will give BETA some breathing space to rebuild their shelters and get back to their urgent rescue work.


ADOPTIONS IN THE U.S.: We’ve had many applications for adoption in this country. Many thanks to all who have offered to open their hearts and homes. There are still dogs and cats (of all shapes, types, ages, and sizes) available for adoption. Please check out the Adoption tab at


FUNDS: We’re lifting off on faith, since we still have not raised all the funds needed. Still looking for an additional $200 for many of the dogs and cats. YOUR DONATION, LARGE OR SMALL, IS STILL CRITICAL TO THIS WORK. Please use the donation button at


Please keep in mind that BETA is the ONLY humane society in the entire country of Lebanon. So this rescue program is designed to help them re-establish their work and their shelters. For these 300 animals, it means new lives and new homes, but for ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS in that country, it also means new hope and new beginnings.


NEWS UPDATES are on the website every day at Recent stories on the site include:

* How we’re building the temporary accommodations here at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

* The animals at the BETA refuge in the hills above Beirut

* Heartwarming stories of rescue and reunion in Israel

* And the front page story in last Sunday’s Salt Lake Tribune


And as soon as we have more precise timing next week, we’ll let you know, and we’ll be setting up a SPECIAL BLOG to keep you up to the minute as the airlift gets under way.


As always, thank you for caring,



Michael Mountain

Best Friends