In Beirut, shiny pet store windows show off cute, wiggly purebred puppies. Huskies and golden retrievers top the list of popular breeds, and the demand is strong. In a country where pet adoption isn’t the norm, it is common for people to walk right past suffering street dogs and into a shop to find the next furry addition to their family- all too often that cute puppy finds themself in the street dog’s position just several months later.
We just returned from a visit to our partner, BETA (Beirut Ethical Treatment of Animals), where they are working to rescue dogs off the street and are encouraging people to adopt one of the thousands of Beirut dogs in need of a home.
BETA staff gave us a tour of their beautiful open-air hillside shelter where they house nearly 700 dogs. Dogs are housed in large runs shared with other dogs of similar size and temperament, and are let out in groups each day to run free in nature. We were concerned that dogs might not return, but staff assured us they always come back to the safety and security of BETA’s shelter where they know they will be fed and cared for.
We were thrilled to see the work of BETA first hand, but that wasn’t the reason for our trip. We were there to pick up our most recent group of Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide rescues! We are so grateful to BETA for providing a safe haven for these dogs on their long journey between Iraq and their soldiers’ homes in the US. BETA has dogs available for adoption in Beirut and also for families in the United States and Canada. You can help be part of the solution by giving a once neglected and starving Beirut street animal a home today!