Disabled rescue cats flown in from Syria up for adoption in Belgium
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Disabled rescue cats flown in from Syria up for adoption in Belgium

A white cat paralysed cat (not pictured) and a one-eyed cat are some of five felines flown into Belgium from Syria by a Flemish animal shelter. Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Injured or disabled rescue cats from Syria are looking for a new home in Belgium, after a Flemish animal shelter made arrangements to fly them into the country.

A white male cat with leg paralysis and a one-eyed female are some of the cats up for adoption in the Flemish town of Maseeik, near the eastern border with the Netherlands.

Animal shelter Villa Vagebon came into contact with a Syrian animal rescue group, and have already arranged to fly in a total of five cats from the war-torn country.

Villa Vagebon said they chose to help the animals after the “cry for help” of the Syrian shelter, who was not able to keep the cats due to the special care they required, HLN reports.

“We responded to the cry for help from a Syrian animal organisation, they can hardly feed the animals there,” Nathalie Swiatalski said. “These cats with limitations (…) have never survived there,” she said, noting the high-medical costs of caring for them.

Two of the five cats the association flew into Belgium arrived with illnesses or injuries that were too advanced and were put to sleep, a measure Swiatalski said was only used when they were no other options.

The cats still up for adoption are Lucy, Hope and Boshar, the white male who became paralysed in the abdomen after falling from a balcony. Their combined adoption costs add up to €5,000, a price which Swiatalski said helps keeps the association running, as they receive no subsidies.

The Flemish animal rescue is looking to fly in two more cats from Syria, in what Swiatalski said was an effort by the animal shelter she leads to live up to their “caring without limits” motto.

Cats from Dubai and Romania were some among the roughly 120 cats the shelter care for last year, irrespective of their place of origin.

“We rescue the cats who need our help the most,” Swiatalski said, adding: “So, yes — also our own stray cats.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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