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Screen grab from https://ernestosanctuary.org/

Now Ernestos sanctuary is full of life and we have over 200 cats in residence, and others that call in for meals. We now also have 4 monkeys, a horse, doves, rabbits and dogs. The group members also donated money to buy a plot of land near the sanctuary and another childrens playground called the Garden of Hope is now established.

Caring for all these animals of course really required the services of a veterinarian. It took a long time to find one, (most of them left Syria at the beginning of the civil war) but Dr Mohammad Youssef joined us at the new sanctuary just over a year ago. We have been able to equip and open a veterinary clinic, where the local population can bring their domestic pets for treatment. We now offer free support and veterinary care for animals owned by residents of the local Idlib and Aleppo areas. Many people in Syria have pet animals, and livestock – but they often don’t have the funds or the knowledge to care for them properly. The availability of free medical care, education on animal welfare and of the benefits of spaying and neutering will vastly improve the lives of these animals.

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Dr Youssef now has a veterinary assistant, Abu Ali, and both work full time at Ernestos. Ernestos team visit local farms and stables, improving animal husbandry and welfare. Because of the war we still struggle to find and buy enough anaesthetic, vaccines and medicines.

With financial assistance from our group, Alaa works to help the child refugees and orphans and Pet Therapy sessions rake place on a regular basis.

The war is still never far away from our sanctuary and Syria is still a country in violent turmoil, but we will carry on with our mission of improving the lives of so many forgotten victims of the war – the animals – and to improve the future for animals in Syria. With perseverance and with the support of our group – we aim to succeed.

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