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 http://network.bestfriends.org/middleeast
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 http://network.bestfriends.org/middleeast
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
* 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 email@example.com.
* 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.
Best Friends Animal Society