Sanctuary in Syria takes care of 1000 abandoned or injured cats

Alaa, an ambulance driver, feeds cats in Masaken Hanano in Aleppo, Syria, photo: Reuters/Hosam Katan
Alaa, an ambulance driver, feeds cats in Masaken Hanano in Aleppo, Syria, photo: Reuters/Hosam Katan

More than a 1000 cats live at Ernesto’s sanctuary in Syria, where the animals get medical care, shelter and food.

When the war in Syria forced Alaa al-Jaleel to close his cat sanctuary in Aleppo in 2015 and head north to Idlib, he took around 100 animals with him and reopened it there.

“Ernesto’s sanctuary was founded during the war and the ongoing fighting in Syria. There are more than 1000 cats in the sanctuary in addition to other kinds of animals that we take care of,” the sanctuary’s manager, Mohamad Wattar, told Reuters.

“Most of the animals were injured during the war and because their owners had to leave them behind when they left their homes, we gave them shelter, medical care and food,” he continued.

The sanctuary is named after the favourite cat, Ernesto, of the Italian women who helped set it up. It’s located close to the Turkish border.

“Ernesto’s sanctuary is located across a 2000 square-meter surface that is surrounded by a fence. It includes many sections; medical isolation, maternity ward and another for healthy cats,” Wattar said.

“In the medical section in Ernesto’s sanctuary, we treat more than 30 animals every day. We treat the animals, vaccinate them and treat each case according to respective medical issues,” doctor Mohamad Youssef said.


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