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March Summary

Updated: Apr 2

On 18 March, Carlos, Ricki, Falco, Bueno, Karim, Carl, Jimmy, Cody, Xena, Lizzie arrived in the USA!! This was part of a mission spearheaded by SPCA International in conjunction with the Daily Hugz shelter in Nablus, founded and managed by Maad Abu-Ghazalah. Unfortunately this shelter has had to close. In preparation for Daily Hugz shelter's closure, SPCA sponsored the travel of 70 of its dogs to the USA. Maad especially asked SPCA if they can include any dogs from the Bethlehem Shelter in its travel plans and they agreed to take 10.


Diana laboured for months organising paperwork and arranging for their journey from the Bethlehem Shelter to the airport. We had planned to travel via the Beitounia Ramallah checkpoint but at the last minute it was announced that this checkpoint will be closed. Our trucks had to be re-directed to Tulkarem checkpoint via Nablus which is a far longer journey.

Diana and her workers worked tirelessly through the afternoon an into the night bathing, crating and then loading our dogs onto our trucks which drove through the night, arriving at Nablus in the early morning. They then headed to the checkpoint where the dogs were unloaded, removed from their crates and placed into SPCA's crates and reloaded onto their trucks bound for the airport. It was an intense night after months of planning, but it was all worth it to see our dogs finally get their happy ending.





 After landing in NYC they boarded a specially-commissioned small plane to Detroit where they entered the care of the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG). These dogs had been at the Shelter for 2-8 years with no sign of ever leaving. We sincerely thank SPCA International for giving them this second chance at life.



DAWG were particularly moved by Bueno's story and wrote this post ahead of his arrival: 'Bueno's story is particularly eventful because in Palestine they rarely rescue adult dogs from the streets as they are too fearful of humans. But Bueno was so friendly and he had two 5-month-old pups with him. He wasn't their biological dad but he looked after them as if they were his. (One pup found a home, the other sadly died when someone purposefully spread poison near the shelter). After a couple of years at Bethlehem shelter Bueno found a forever home. But before they could get him there some thieves came to the shelter in the middle of the night and stole him. The shelter posted on local Facebook groups constantly but no one saw him. One year later the shelter received a call from a municipal dog pound in Jerusalem who told them that they had Bueno- thanks to his microchip. They were so relieved that Bueno was back safe and sound and still so affectionate toward humans. Bueno has waited at the shelter 6 years for a home...'





You can imagine how thrilled we all were when DAWG announced yesterday that Bueno found his forever home!


To keep up to date on our dogs' progress, follow us and the Detroit Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) on Facebook.

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The Bethlehem Shelter's need for international adoptions is more urgent than it ever has been before. Since Diana founded the Shelter in 2013, the majority of our fosters and adoptions have gone to homes in Israel. However, in the wake of the October 7 attack and ensuing war, the amount of willing foster and adoptive homes in Israel has declined exponentially to the point at which that of the few cats and dogs who have managed to find homes this year so far, 80% were international.


Please help raise awareness of our situation by spreading the word and encouraging anyone you know to adopt from us. Diana handles everything from the paperwork to the practicalities. Follow these links for our available dogs and cats.

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On the subject of needing international adoptions, we would be remiss if we did not mention the title holder of the Bethlehem Shelter's most unlucky resident, Tiger.


It's so hard to find him a home because nobody wants such a big dog! But don't let his size put you off. Tiger is low-energy and quieter than your average small dog. He gets along with other dogs and humans and is quick to learn and eager to please.



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Flight Volunteers Needed!


NYC/East Coast:

Linda was supposed to be flying to New York today. Our driver took Linda to Ben-Gurion Airport to hand her over to our flight volunteer. Diana’s friend Monika was ready to receive Linda in NYC and drive her to The Cat Sanctuary in Boston. Diana had explained everything to this flight volunteer and reassured her that Linda is friendly.  Our driver handed Linda over to her without any issues. But mere minutes afterward, she called Diana in a panic, saying that she has changed her mind and is too scared to fly with a cat.

So we had to send a taxi to pick Linda up from the airport and bring her back to Bethlehem. She was so close to her happy ending, only to be let down at the last minute. We are hoping to find another flight volunteer ASAP.





Newark/Seattle/Vancouver:

Feline has a home in Vancouver, Canada! We are looking for flight volunteers to Newark or Seattle, where Feline will then have his adopter/friend pick him up from there.

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New additions:


This is Lorina. She is 2 years old. The home of her previous owner is located in an area where many stray dogs roam. They surrendered Lorina to the Bethlehem Shelter because she was attacked by these roaming stray dogs too frequently. We asked them to send Lorina to Al Buraq to be vaccinated and fixed then took her to the shelter.

Lorina is very friendly and playful. She needs a foster or forever home.



Some people found Tara near the gate of their house just outside of Bethlehem and had been feeding her. They were unable to take her in so they called Diana who instructed them to take her to the clinic. There Tara was vaccinated and de-wormed.

Edwina is in a foster home with her friend Harri but this arrangement ends in 3 weeks. She will need a new foster or forever home.

Harri was a scared little pup wandering the streets of Doha. A kind citizen saw him being beaten by children and called Diana who sent a taxi to rescue Harri and take him to Al-Buraq clinic. There he stayed for 3 days undergoing treatment for ticks and dehydration. He was also vaccinated and de-wormed. Harri is 3 months old and mixed-breed.



Finan is a 3-month-old male puppy. He was rescued with his two siblings after they were found huddled under a trash bin in the street. All three were treated for illness and skin problems at the clinic but only Finan survived. Finan needs a foster or forever home. He is vaccinated and will be fixed and receive microchip at 6 months old.




A kind citizen found Edwina all alone on the streets at barely 2 months old, and took her to Al Buraq clinic and from there she entered the shelter. Edwina is a charming 4-month-old mixed breed who is fully de-wormed and vaccinated. She will be fixed at 6 months.

Edwina is shy but also gentle. In the right foster or forever home she is sure to come out of her shell and thrive.




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Rescues

(Help us cover transport and veterinary costs by donating via https://heylink.me/bethlehem/)


A friend of Diana who lives in Battir became familiar with a local stray dog who would wander near her home. Suddenly this dog disappeared. Some weeks later he reappeared in a deteriorated state. As soon as Diana’s friend saw this dog enter her yard, she closed the gate and called Diana. Diana sent her worker and driver to retrieve the dog and take him to Al Buraq Clinic. He is dehydrated and starving with a severe skin condition. The vet said that his throat is so swollen he is unable to swallow. It is clear that he has been suffering for some time.

Diana contacted an association who readily agreed to sponsor her treatment. Our driver took her to the new clinic. Unfortunately he died 3 days later. The vet was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of death but he had severe Leishmania, was losing protein in his urine and had a neurological tremor. The clinic staff did everything they could but doggo's temperature kept decreasing until his body just gave up. RIP, little one. We hope you have found peace.

Thank you to our worker, driver, Diana’s friend and the association.


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This 3 month old female puppy was hit by a car and left on the streets of Hebron near a dumpster bin. A kind citizen saw her, messaged Diana and gave puppy’s location. Diana then reached out to our friends in Hebron, Hiba and Hamzeh, who both went there to look for her. Thankfully, she was still there.

They immediately took her to the vet who checked her and gave her antibiotics and painkillers. Then we brought her to Bethlehem at Al Buraq Veterinary clinic, via taxi, courtesy of our friend Ahmad. She has multiple fractures in her hip, legs and tail.

 Diana found her a sponsorship through an Association. Our friend Judith drove her to Jerusalem where another volunteer drove her to the clinic. She has undergone 3 operations. Stay tuned for updates.

We are grateful to the kind citizen who first saw puppy and contacted Diana, Hiba Al Ayyoubi and Hamzeh Zahdeh, Ahmad Abu Munshar, Judith and everyone else who helped to rescue her.




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This mother and her four puppies lived a tortured life on the streets of Nablus and have suffered injuries from being abused. A friend of Diana’s noticed them and asked a taxi driver to take them to Royal Care Hospital where they are now safe. All 5 require medical treatment, vaccinations, de-worming and flea treatment. Please help us cover these expenses, so that we can get these poor dears on the road to recovery and ready for adoption.



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A friend of the from Hebron Ahmad Abu Munshar was on his way to Jericho when he found  4  nursing kittens alone , with no mother. They searched for the mother but could not find her. So he took them to a friend's place and asked if we can find them someone to take care of them . One of Diana’s friends in Jericho, Janet Abu Sa'da, was looking after a nursing mother. Even though this mother has 4 kittens of her own, she accepted the new 4 orphan kittens. But she only has so much milk to give so Diana made sure to give her friend milk and bottles to nurse them with. We thank Janet for fostering these 4 kitties and to Ahmad for rescuing them.



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A young lady from Battir a village near Bethlehem, called Diana about a dog who was licking his back and very skinny. I asked her to lead him an enclosed area so that our worker, Jeries, could catch him. Jeries travelled there via taxi, caught him and then brought him to the vet where he is receiving treatment. We have named him Frankie.

The wound on this Frankie’s back was a burn. Hoping to drive him away from the area, a local resident had thrown hot oil on him. In addition, he was very dehydrated and has a severe skin problem. We think that he was someone’s pet before, as he looks different from your average West Bank stray.

We thank the kind lady and Jeries for rescuing Frankie.



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This little puppy was found near someone house crying.  The lower part of her leg was broken and one of her paws had been smashed and was infected.

Diana took her to the vet to clean her wounds, then to her house overnight.  Association sponsored her case so our volunteer, Judith, met Diana yesterday morning and drove her to the Association’s volunteer who drove her to their clinic.  This poor little girl can't be operated on until the infection is healed and they might amputate her paw.




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Meet Leif. He and his siblings were living all alone in a very dirty field in Beit Jala.  A local woman was taking care of them and bringing them food.   Then they fell ill and most died. Only two puppies were left and one of them remained ill.  Diana sent a taxi to collect them and take them to the vet but by the time he arrived there was only Leif was still alive. He was treated for parvo (which is most likely what his siblings died from).

Leif is now in good health. He is 3 months old. Mixed breed. We are looking for a foster or forever home. He has been vaccinated, de-wormed, treated for fleas. Will receive chip and be spayed at 6 months old.



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In memoriam:


Four years ago, thieves broke into the shelter and stole Rakan, Cici and Bueno from us. Cici and Bueno were eventually returned to us. Only after Cici and Bueno were found did we find out that those thieves had taken them to Nablus. Cici was rescued in early 2021 from deplorable living conditions in Qalandiya but she died one week later. Bueno was returned 2 years after being stolen when he was found wandering in Beit Shemesh.

But Rakan, poor sweet Rakan, has been lost ever since the night those thieves stole him.

He already had a traumatic past behind him: Diana rescued him from a home where his owners kept him chained up outside with little food. He was so skinny when he entered the shelter but his health quickly improved and his brutal start in life proved to have little impact on his personality: he was outgoing, friendly and loved to cuddle with volunteers. And yet his lucked turned again and Rakan is forever lost to us. There is a faint hope that he will be returned somehow but if not, we hope that he has found a better place.









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