SPCA International is supporting disaster response efforts in Beirut following the devastating explosion there. Our long-standing partner, Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) sprung into immediate action and we are proud to provide the funding and partnership they need to ensure animals are as safe as possible.
BETA staff and volunteers are taking a multipronged approach to ensure animals are safe and cared for in the wake of the port area explosion that killed hundreds of people and animals, injured thousands and caused incalculable damage to the city’s infrastructure.
- Blast Zone Animal Searches BETA personnel have entered the blast zone several times (which is currently closed to the public) to search for surviving animals and strays or escaped pets that may have run into the area. Unfortunately, any stray dogs and cats in the core blast zone were killed immediately and turned to dust. As BETA locates animals, they will be quickly given the veterinary attention they need.
- Blast Zone Perimeter Animal Care There is a group of 80-100 community dogs living on the streets near the blast zone that are typically cared for by neighborhood residents. These animals survived the initial blast, but they have lost their source of food, as homes and businesses damaged by the blast have been vacated. BETA is bringing food into the area for these dogs, treating them for fleas and ticks, and will be implementing a TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release) with the animals to make sure the stray population stays under control.
- Pet and Family Reunions An unknown number of family pets escaped and ran from their homes through windows broken by the blast. This often happens when natural or other disasters occur, and it takes time and coordination for scared animals to return home or be found and reunited. BETA is a well-known community organization and families are reaching out with descriptions of their pets to ask for BETA’s help in locating them. As BETA contacts hundreds of street animals, their team will be on the lookout for pets and will be working to coordinate reunions with families.
SPCA International is proud to commit a grant of $20,000 to help BETA in the wake of this tragedy. We know the explosion is an incredible challenge on top of COVID-19 and economic instability. We hope our grant will ease their burden in the days, weeks and months to come.
If you would like to join us in supporting shelters in the wake of disasters like this one, please consider a donation to our Disaster Relief Fund.