Famous Cat Sanctuary In War-Torn Syria Has Been Bombed, But Local Man Stays To Care For Animals

Photo credit: Il gattaro D'aleppo

A cat sanctuary, where animals and children found refuge in the war-torn Syrian city, has reportedly been bombed.

Photo credit: Il gattaro D'aleppo
Photo credit: Il gattaro D’aleppo

The sanctuary is also the home of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, known as the “the cat man of Aleppo.”

Aljaleel, a former electrician who is now an ambulance driver, cares for nearly 200 cats — many of whom were left behind by families fleeing violence.

Alessandra Abidin, who communicates on behalf of ‎the cat sanctuary, told Shelter Me that Aljaleel and his family are safe.

She said a playground that Aljaleel put up for local children is also still standing.

Part of their house — also home to the sanctuary — was destroyed.

 

Photo credit: Il gattaro D'aleppo
Photo credit: Il gattaro D’aleppo

Two cats, and a dog named Hope, were killed in the bombings, she said. (Graphic photos can be seen in the Il gattaro D’aleppo Facebook group.)

Photo credit: Il gattaro D'aleppo
Photo credit: Il gattaro D’aleppo

On Wednesday, the day after the bombings, Abidin said, Aljaleel was out taking care of those who survived.

Photo credit: Il gattaro D'aleppo
Photo credit: Il gattaro D’aleppo

You can donate on PayPal to Donazioni@speranza-hopeforchildren.org, or reach out through the Il gattaro D’aleppo Facebook page.

 

 

Arin Greenwood

Arin Greenwood is an animal writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Previously, she was animal welfare editor at The Huffington Post. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, pit bull advocate, and devoted fan of cats and dogs who run for public office. Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013. Hello From Dog Island!, Arin's third book, will be published by Soho Teen in 2018. Know a shelter with a great, innovative program? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at aringreenwood@gmail.com!