Two orthopaedic surgeons are helping animals in Gaza. The brothers Mohammad and Youssef Al-Khaldi have healed bones of cats, dogs and even birds.
“We only have two centres [prosthetic limb centres] for humans in the Gaza Strip, and they are hardly sufficient, so what do you expect when it comes to animals?” Mohammed told news agency Reuters.
“Regarding animals, we do not have specialised animal care centres, veterinary services or centres that provide splints for animals. If an animal breaks one of his bones, the chance of its death is around 80%,” he said.
“Most of the injuries are fractures, particularly in cats, domesticated cats and other varieties, and sometimes birds, including wild birds,” Mohammed added.
Many of their human patients, whom they’ve been treating since 2019, have been victims of Israeli army gunfire at border protests, the brothers said. Their mission now is to also save animals in an area where veterinary services focus on more basic animal care.
After they helped a sheep with a broken leg at their clinic in southern Rafah, helping animals became a passion, Mohammed said.
The 28-year-old Anan Al-Bayoumi went to the surgeons after his cat broke his leg. “I raise animals and (up to now).. there had been no institutions to do the casts,” he said.
Because of poverty and the difficulty of importing goods, the surgeons often create casts or prosthetics for animals from polyethylene and similar materials.
The Animal Reader is a small independent animal news platform based in the Netherlands. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.