Out of all the thousands of homeless animals in Israel a rescue group called Let the Animals Live (LAL) has helped to save, the poster pup seems to be a dog named Tomy. He was discovered living in the bushes by the side of a road in the Negev desert by a group of Bedouim children.
For weeks, they brought him water and food but could not persuade the scared and injured dog to go to them. It is presumed he was hit by a car and crawled away seeking safety; its estimated Tomy spent 60 days there. Eventually, LAL was called to come to Tomy’s rescue. They discovered Tomy’s rear legs are paralyzed.
Once Tomy was brought to a veterinarian, he spent weeks in the intensive care unit (ICU) healing from his traumas – physical and emotional. It was determined he would need a wheelchair in order to have any self-mobility.
A boy named Jamie decided to make Tomy and his needs his personal Bar Mitzvah project. Together, LAL and Jamie raised enough money to have a special wheelchair made in the USA for Tomy. Believed to be about 10 years old, Tomy continues to work on strengthening his muscles to be able to use the wheelchair for longer time periods.
Hadar Gutman fell in love with Tomy during his lengthy ICU stay and developed a loving rapport. She became Tomy’s foster mom. Aside from lots of love, Gutman also provides acupuncture, aromatherapy and other alternative, gentle treatments to encourage healing. View some photos of Tomy and watch his video.
About Let the Animals Live
LAL is Israel’s largest animal non-profit organization, serving the country since 1986. It is the only one that operates a rescue ambulance regularly. “The Ambulance is equipped with whatever it needs to trap cats and dogs in distress,” says Riva Mayer, Overseas Development Director for LAL. “Our Ambulance driver is a trained rescuer and we also work with the best rescuer in Israel – Mr. Avi Kuzi, on the more complicated cases – usually when large/wild animals are involved.”
“A few are released back to their ‘home’ after being spayed/neutered/vaccinated and many stay with us at our shelter until re-homed for as long as it takes,” said Mayer. With a strict no-kill policy, LAL makes every effort possible to save the animal and adopt the creature out if no guardians are found. The sad truth is that Israel has a very large homeless pet population compounded by the people whoabandon their pets to nature when going on vacation.
In an effort to counteract that type of behavior, LAL provides humane education. LAL has an emergency hotline that is currently staffed 6 days per week. Mayer tells me the goal is to get it running 24/7. Many of LAL’s 30 employees and over 100 volunteers worked on the recent success of freeing monkeys at Mazor Farm campaign. Like many non-profit organizations, LAL operates entirely through the generosity of donations.
According to the LAL website, services include:
- * Emergency hotline – answers calls from the public regarding distressed animals, as well as providing information.
- * Search and rescue vehicle – with this vehicle, distressed animals are picked up and transferred to the association’s shelter for veterinary care and rehabilitation.
- * Animal shelters – houses about 300 dogs and cats who receive dedicated care until a warm home is found for them; the main shelter is in Meshek Dror at the entrance to Ramla and other two are located in Kfar Tikva and Sakhnin.
- * Veterinary clinic services – provides the public with spaying/neutering and other veterinary care at reduced costs.
- * Legal department – inquiries about matters of animal abuse and maintenance; taking care of farm animals; taking care of legislation; operating a legal clinic; and public campaigns.
- * Humane Education – “From Violence to Compassion” project advocates compassion toward animals; is run in association with the Center for Environmental Protection in Sakhnin. by Megan Drake