Syrian team provides relief for quake-affected dogs, cats in Idlib


A Syrian team led by Muhammad Wattar, a citizen of Aleppo and founder of Ernesto's Sanctuary for Cats, is caring for dozens of cats and dogs injured in the earthquake that struck Idlib province in northwest Syria.

The earthquake that hit southern Türkiye on Feb. 6 also caused significant damage on the Syrian side, affecting animals as well as humans and structures.

Wattar and his crew quickly mobilized to assist animals affected by the quake, establishing search and rescue teams to retrieve animals from under the rubble in several areas, including Salqin, Jisr al-Shughur, Darkush, and Termanin in Idlib, as well as Atarib and Jandiris in Aleppo.

Thanks to their efforts, dozens of animals were saved and given the necessary health care.

Wattar and his associates helped about 2,200 animals, including 2,000 cats and 33 dogs, in a shelter affiliated with the association.

Speaking to Anadolu, Wattar explained that they rescued 60 cats and 10 dogs from under the debris and provided medical care to injured animals such as cows, sheep, and horses in pens.

He stated that they plan to establish new shelters for animals outside Idlib.

For his part, Ahmed Youssef, a veterinarian working with the association, said they collected stray animals in the areas most affected by the earthquake.

He further said that they are creating bicycles with toy wheels to help paralyzed and amputee animals walk and placing food for animals in certain areas heavily impacted by the earthquake.

More than 48,400 people were killed in Türkiye in the quakes on Feb. 6, according to official figures.

More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the powerful quakes that rocked 11 provinces, including Kahramanmaras, Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig, and Sanliurfa.

The quakes also killed around 6,000 people in Syria, according to UN figures.

Source: Anadolu Agency