PETALING JAYA, Aug 10 — Animal lovers in Lebanon have been working tirelessly to reunite lost and injured pets with their owners following a devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4.
Animals Lebanon executive director Jason Mier said the animal welfare organisation has gathered over 190 volunteers to look for pets trapped underneath the city’s rubble, tend to their injuries, and rehome those whose owners were killed in the tragedy.
Their work provides a glimmer of hope during a dark period for many Beirut residents, especially those who managed to reunite with their lost pets thanks to the kindness of volunteers.
“Everybody is at a loss for words because you feel everything but you also feel a bit of nothing at the same time.
“It’s nice that we’re able to bring a bit of joy back to people after those same people have lost almost everything, it makes it worthwhile,” Mier told CNN.
Major explosion rocks Beirut!
Government now declares Beirut a disaster city.
At 6:00 this afternoon a major explosion at the port rocked all of Beirut.
Initial reports of over 70 dead and 4,000 injured.
Entire buildings and homes were destroyed, and significant pic.twitter.com/oQAVptPjo0
— AnimalsLebanon (@AnimalsLebanon) August 4, 2020
Animals Lebanon’s office is located about four kilometres away from the deadly explosion in the Port of Beirut that sent shockwaves across the city.
Mier said there were bloody paw prints all over the office by the time he arrived as some of the animals had been injured by glass shards from broken windows.
Animals Lebanon is typically staffed by five people but that number has skyrocketed as residents band together to rescue animals in affected areas.
Volunteers are now burning the midnight oil to ensure no one gets left behind in the aftermath of the explosion, which has left at least 158 people dead and thousands more injured.
In one video posted to Twitter, a woman bursts into tears after reuniting with her pet cat who was found inside a car by Animals Lebanon volunteers.
“Oh my god, I’ve been looking everywhere,” the woman said in between sobs while cradling the feline in her arms.
In the aftermath of the #BeirutExplosion, one group is looking out for the city’s lost and hurt pets. This is the heartbreaking reunion between a cat mom and her furbaby who volunteers say, was found stuck inside a car. ?: @AnimalsLebanon pic.twitter.com/uMX7VMpkUJ
— Alisha Ebrahimji (@AlishaEbrahimji) August 7, 2020