TEL AVIV - Hundreds of cats in the care of West Bank and Gaza settlers are sure to die as a result of the upcoming disengagement, Let Animals Live spokeswoman Etti Altman said Monday.
“Once the settlers leave, there will be no one to feed the cats,” she said. “They are used to getting food - they will not survive on their own.”
Let Animal Live representatives are scheduled to travel to the West Bank settlements of Ganim and Kadim on Tuesday in a bid to find a solution for the soon-to-be deserted cats, Altman said.
The Environment Ministry is funding the trip, she said.
“I want all of the animals to be evacuated from the settlements. An enlightened country that looks after its citizens is supposed to take care of its animals,” Altman said. She said animal welfare organizations do not have the resources to take on such an operation.
“Just as the government built a Nitzanim for humans, it must build a Nitzanim for the animals,” she said.
Recently Let Animals Live turned to the Vatican for assistance, as Pope Benedict’s XVI's love for cats is well known. The organization has not received an answer as of yet.
Kadim resident Martine Ashgary, who is scheduled to move to Ashkelon in mid-August during the pullout, said dogs are also at risk, as some settler families left their dogs behind en route to their new homes.
“One family dumped three dogs along Kadim’s bypass road,” she said. “A dogcatcher was summoned to pick them up, but I have no idea what happened to them.”
Ashgary, said there are some 50 cats in Kadim alone, and even more in nearby Ganim.
“I personally feed about 10 cats; some are only five weeks old,” she said. “Something must be done - there won’t be anyone here to take care of them."