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Watch: Moment Beirut’s explosion ravaged animal shelter and its residents

beirut explosion dog-cat-serious

Tutte le reazioni di cani e gatti dopo l'esplosione.

© OIPA International - Facebook

No-one in Beirut, Lebanon's tragic explosion was spared. It has affected the lives of thousands of people and animals too, who need our help more than ever.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 06/08/2020, 11:10, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:26

While videos are circulating online of the explosion itself, others show how the explosion was felt by people inside of homes or public buildings – a terrifying vision made possible by CCTV footage.

Shock and terror

One such video shows how the deadly explosion was felt by shelter animals. The video shows cats relaxing by a window at the Animals Lebanon animal shelter. When the explosion occurs, there is a sudden blast which completely destroys the window, breaking it into millions of little glass pieces. 

Through the sheer force of the blast, the cats were thrown into the air and land – on their paws -metres away from where they were sitting. The terrified and confused animals scatter across the floor to get as far away as possible from danger, only to injure themselves.

Later in the day, shelter staff return to find their floors covered in blood, the glass having cut the poor animals’ paw pads. Thankfully, the animals are otherwise safe and being treated by vets. However, Animals Lebanon is asking for donations to help continue the care of animals in need of their help, who are likely to become greater in number as more are found in the city’s rubble.

Small comforts 

Indeed, in a panic, an animal’s immediate reaction is to flee. Due to this, many pets and owners were separated during the terrible explosion. Countless lost pets have come into Animals Lebanon’s care in the past few hours – thankfully, a large number were microchipped and therefore able to be reunited with their families. A small silver lining in a tragedy that has left total destruction in its wake. 

Meanwhile, help is on the way. Firefighters and search and rescue teams, with the inclusion of sniffer dogs, have been deployed from all over Europe to help families in their search for survivors – human or animal. 

They need our help

It is imperative that the animals still wandering the streets are caught and cared for. Not only are they probably injured, anxious, hungry and dehydrated, but a toxic cloud dispersing dangerous particles has also started to form above the city. It is thought to be particularly dangerous for animals as they walk low to the ground. 

If you can help in any way, please donate to Animals Lebanon.

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