Charity Safe Haven for Donkeys is funding a mobile team to treat equines that are becoming crucial to those living in Gaza, and they are appealing for the public’s support.

“Donkeys and horses are now more important to the people of Gaza than ever before,” said a charity spokesperson. “With fuel scarce, and many trucks, vans and cars destroyed, donkeys and horses have become the main mode of transport – moving people, food, water, building materials and essential medicines through a war-ravaged landscape.

“Evacuees are counting on these animals to help them move away from the conflict zones, but the donkeys and horses need food so they can continue to be a much-needed resource.”

The first aid package, sent by Safe Haven for Donkeys, of animal food and urgently needed veterinary medication to be shipped in since the conflict started, was recently received. However, more vital aid is needed and the charity are now arranging their second shipment, which they hope will arrive in July.

“Understandably, given the situation on the ground, with the desperate needs of the people and the lack of alternative transport, these animals are working in appalling conditions – suffering malnourishment, dehydration and excruciating wounds from the heavy loads they carry and pull,” added the spokesperson.

The Safe Haven team treating a foal at a refugee camp

Led by Dr Saif, Safe Haven for Donkeys’ team in Gaza is working tirelessly every day, often setting up clinics by the side of the road, to provide relief to donkeys and horses that have horrific harness wounds, as well as injuries from missiles and bombs.

“Animals are used as a significant means of transport in saving people’s lives and transporting the dead,” said Dr Saif. “This is especially the case in the Northern parts of Gaza and Khanyouns. People there use donkeys and horses to send the dead and injured to hospitals in Rafah.

“Donkeys are the main means of transport since oil is not available – unless at the black market with a very expensive price. Hence, donkeys will work under horrific conditions due to lack of food, fatigue and beating.

“A considerable number of donkeys and horses suffer from serious injuries due to the explosion of missiles and bombs. Shrapnel has killed some and injured many. This is why they are very vulnerable.”

To find out more and support the cause, click here.

Lead image of the Safe Haven team treating a horse after being hit by a shred following the bombardment of a house in Rafah