Rescue cats from Lebanon up for adoption soon at MHHS with help of local veterinarian

Rescue cats from Lebanon

Alani will soon be available for adoption with 13 other rescued cats from Lebanon thanks in part to local veterinarian Dr. David Chico.

MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10)- For seven years Dr. David Chico, a veterinarian, has volunteered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) helping animals affected by natural disasters. In four years, he’s helped arrange for 53 cats to be brought to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (MHHS) so they could be adopted into loving homes.

With the help of Animals Lebanon,14 cats brought to the U.S. with Dr. Chico’s assistance and being fostered through the MHHS, will soon be looking for their forever homes in the Capital Region. The cats were rescued after a bombing in Beirut last December left many of them in need.

NEWS10 asked Dr. Chico, who works for the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, about his work with Animals Lebanon and why animal rescue is important to him.

Q: When did you decide you were going to rescue cats from Lebanon and why did you decide to do it?

“My first trip to Lebanon was with IFAW to do work in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. I became familiar with Animals Lebanon during that trip and I have been a supporter of them since.  I have gone back on my own many times to help.”

  • Rescue cats from Lebanon
  • Rescue cats from Lebanon
  • Rescue cats from Lebanon
  • Rescue cats from Lebanon
  • Rescue cats from Lebanon

Q: What’s been the most rewarding thing about rescuing these cats?

“First is giving an animal a chance at being placed in a permanent home and not spending their lives in a shelter facility.  Second, these rescue transports really help Animals Lebanon by decreasing the number of cats in their care which reduces expenses, especially when the economy is doing so poorly there. For the supporters of Animals Lebanon, a cat transport like this excites everyone associated with the organization, both volunteers and employees, because they can see that their work has paid off and lives have been saved.”

Q: Has there been any heartbreaking moments?

“The heartbreaking moments are not being able to help them all. There are so many animals there in need of veterinary care that prevents them from traveling. One of the things I like most about Animals Lebanon is their ethical approach to these transports. They try and select the animals that are going to be most readily adoptable – they put a lot of thought into which animals get sent to the U.S.”

Q: Do you have cats as pets, and do you consider yourself a crazy cat person?

“Unfortunately, I don’t have any cats of my own at this time, but I do have two rescue dogs, one who came from Lebanon, Habib. Habib is not trustworthy with cats, so I don’t even try.”

Q: How long do you plan on going to Lebanon to rescue cats?

“I will continue these trips once or twice a year to help support Animals Lebanon as long as I am able.”

Q: Have you thought about going to another country to rescue cats?

“As a volunteer with IFAW, I would potentially go anywhere in the world that help is needed to respond to a disaster. Disasters don’t happen in a vacuum. If a disaster affects humans, it also affects animals, which is why the work of groups like Animals Lebanon and IFAW is so critical.”

MHHS said they are more than happy to do their part in making sure these cats get placed into good homes. Although the 14 that will be ready for adoption soon are mostly healthy, a black long-haired cat named Zoro is having his eye removed Friday, according to MHHS’s Marguerite Pearson. She said some cats come to MHHS needing only spaying, neutering, or vaccinations while others like Zoro have more serious needs including amputation.

“There is no effective government in place and those with any resources are leaving. Those who can’t leave are giving up their animals, as they can’t afford to feed them,” Pearson said. “Incredibly, this organization is saving animals with the help of IFAW and volunteers like Dr. Chico who are partnering with organizations like MHHS in the US. They’ve even managed to get animal abuse legislation passed, though there aren’t laws against child or spousal abuse.”

Rescue cats from Lebanon that will be available for adoption at MHHS

  • Alani
  • Chaplin
  • Cheddar
  • Dorothy
  • Fay
  • Izzy
  • Linda
  • Luigi
  • Mac
  • Pearl
  • Zoro
  • Oscar
  • Lady
  • Hershey

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