University Students In Lebanon Are Striving To Save The Lives Of Abandoned Pets


As the economic crisis grows, more families are forced to cut down on their expenses, and home pets are becoming an unaffordable luxury to most social classes.

Recently, Lebanese pet owners have been abandoning their pets and leaving them at the mercy of the streets. This is mainly due to the rising cost of feeding and taking care of the pets as well as emigrating families choosing to leave their pets behind.

Raised protected in homes and dependent on their owners to feed them and take care of them, these home pets are not adapted to outdoor life:

They do not know how or where to get food, how to protect themselves from weather elements, or even how to cross the street safely.

This leaves them in very vulnerable conditions, some barely surviving or not at all.

Many Beirut residents tend to choose to leave their cats at the doors of universities in Beirut, namely the Lebanese American University (LAU) and the American University of Beirut (AUB), which are known for their abundance of friendly outdoor cats.

However, this increase in abandonment leaves the burden on the shoulders of the students to take care of these pets.

To help these furry friends, students have resorted to creating university clubs that collect donations and take care of the campus cats.

LAU Animal Care Club, for instance, is an animal rescue service that takes care of donations, and of finding foster or adoptive families for their cats.

The club does not receive any incentive from its university and hence its rescue missions depend on donations and the efforts of the students.

To raise funds, the members organize fundraising events, bake sales, and fun activities to involve all of the university’s staff and students in saving these creatures’ lives. Donors can also reach out on their social media (@animalcareclub.lau) to help.

In their neighboring university, the Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA) is an AUB student club that volunteers to rescue pets.

The club has two main goals: fundraising and raising awareness. Members take the cats to the vet and, when needed, keep them in the university clinic where students feed and medicate the rescues.

As Jana El Jurdi, the president of the club, mentioned in an MTV interview, AUB neuters 8 cats per month based on a contract between the club and the university.

The rest of the rescue mission depends on donations and money raised when students register in the club.

It is important to know that the cost of saving these animals is high and is one of the main concerns for rescue clubs. Tania Hassan, a SETA member, said that a visit to the vet for basic treatments costs up to $35-$45.

To reach out to the clubs, check out their Instagram accounts where anyone can see the pets that are available for fostering/adoption on their highlights or posts.

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