Good People Doing Good Things — Saving Critters

Today’s good people post is a little different than the usual fare.  Typically, I seek out people helping other people, but today I want to focus on a couple of people helping non-human critters, for their lives are important too.

Chella Phillips lives in the Bahamas, where Hurricane Dorian left a trail of devastation this past weekend.  She also runs a refuge for homeless dogs, called The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas.  On this day, her refuge celebrated its fourth anniversary, and in that time she has taken in some 1,000 dogs and found homes for them.  But on Sunday, Ms. Phillips home became an extension of the refuge.chella-phillips.jpgHurricane Dorian was beginning to hit the island and there were dogs everywhere, some abandoned by owners fleeing the island, some were strays, but all were definitely in harm’s way.  And that’s when Chella Phillips stepped in and did what not many people would do.  She took the dogs home with her … 97 of them!pups-1No, Ms. Phillips doesn’t live in a mansion, but just an ordinary house.  Here’s what she posted on her Facebook page …

“97 dogs are inside my house and 79 of them are inside my master bedroom.

It has been insane since last night …

I managed to bring some less fortunate ones and I really appreciate some of you donating for crates.. I really needed it for the scared ones and the sick ones. so Thank you!

Coincidently, today is the Fourth anniversary since the refuge opened its doors to homeless and abandoned dogs and we have cared for nearly 1,000 of them which we are very proud that we managed to give them hope so they could all be happy at last.

Please pray for the Bahamas!”

pups-2And then, on Monday she posted …

“We are alright after a stressful night were we flooded bad inside the refuge, not even 3 pumps could contain the rain from washing us inside and after an hour all 3 pumps reheated and burned down and we have been outside with buckets fighting a losing battle..

All services are down, all TVs are fried from the lightnings so no more cartoons for the sick dogs until we can purchase new ones.

Thank you for the outpouring support and heartfelt prayers from so many people that don’t even know us, my post from yesterday went viral and total strangers are reaching out to us giving us the exposure that we need so bad..

Thank you!”

I give two thumbs up to this kind, caring woman for her dedication to these dogs who likely would not have survived the night of devastation. 👍👍

I would like you to meet Dr. Amir Khalil.

Gaza Lion Cubs Rescue 2015

Dr. Khalil speaks quickly in a voice laced with various accents. Born in Egypt, he has lived in Vienna for the past 27 years and has a Bulgarian wife. He speaks six languages, including Coptic Egyptian.  But none of that is what gave him a spot in this good people post.  Dr. Khalil is a veterinarian who has dedicated much of the last 25 years of his life to rescuing animals from crisis zones in places like Iraq, Sudan’s Darfur region and Bosnia, and creating sanctuaries around the globe for the rescued animals.  He has calmed traumatized bears from Syria and vaccinated thousands of stray dogs in Myanmar. The work can come at personal risk: In Kosovo, he had a pistol held to his head. In Kenya, gunmen shot up his car.

Dr. Khalil has worked for Four Paws International, a Vienna-based animal welfare charity, for 25 years.  Most recently, his mission was to rescue 47 animals — including lions, wolves, baboons and ostriches — from a struggling zoo in the city of Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.amir-khalil-2This was his Khalil’s fifth assignment in Gaza, which is controlled by the militant Islamist group Hamas and blockaded by its neighbors, Israel and Egypt. He had already evacuated two other Gaza zoos in 2014 and 2016. But this rescue would be his biggest.

“We go to places where the logic doesn’t exist. The government doesn’t exist. No one cares. And where no one will believe you are coming to save animals. You see everyone escaping from a city like Mosul, going out. Thousands and thousands. And you are the only car going the other way around. You are going inside.”

Against this backdrop of conflict, Khalil brokered a deal with authorities from Jordan, Israel and Hamas so he could move into Gaza, shut down the Rafah zoo and evacuate the animals.  It was no easy task.  Long story short, he was challenged at the border … twice.  He was threatened, told to leave, denied entry to the area where the animals were in captivity, some dying of neglect and starvation.  But, he persevered and ultimately, Khalil and his rescue team crossed to safety with the animals into Israel.  The story of this rescue is fascinating, but a bit long for this post, but you can read it on NPR.lion-cubsSince the rescue, several of the animals, including three porcupines, three pelicans, two foxes and an ostrich, have been released into the wild in Jordan. The lions, including a declawed lioness, and baboons are living in wildlife sanctuaries in Jordan and South Africa.

Sometimes Khalil wishes he could have a normal life, eat a normal dinner with his three daughters without having to worry about conflict areas, mistreated animals or being trapped in crossfire. “I am a human, I have my weaknesses,” he says. “But I come to be addicted. I am infected by my job.”

Another two thumbs-up for this remarkable man who has saved countless beautiful lives.two-thumbs

39 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Saving Critters

  1. It’s so wonderful to know there are people out there who risk their own safety in order to save our four legged friends..
    Many thanks for sharing this Jill, I came via Colettes re-posting of your blog post
    We need more compassionate hearts.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Grief! Here I was patting myself on the back for scattering some peanuts in my backyard, all alone, minus my shadow! I know of Dr. Amir Khalil and have read about him several times. Four Paws International’s newsletter arrives into my inbox often. They are a wonderful organization worthy of donations by animal lovers everywhere. Chella Phillips has a heart of gold, I cannot begin to imagine that many dogs in one house! These are good people doing some very needed and good things. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all give to the best of our ability, Ellen. Your squirrels appreciate your peanuts … I bet they miss Benjamin, though! And now, it’s especially important to give them a few extra so they can start stockpiling for the oncoming winter months! Glad you enjoyed my ‘good people’ today … I hope Benjamin will like them this weekend!


    • Wow … you’re a good woman, Mary. I usually put a link to the organization’s website, but I was tired and not up to par last night, so I forgot. Thanks for helping these great people!


  3. I saw about the lady in the Bahamas, but I didn’t know about the wonderful vet.
    Such totally selfless decent kind people! Being an animal lover, this just broke my heart, as to what animals wild and domestic have to endure so often because of man.

    I’m forwarding your post on to friends I know will appreciate it and the kindness and bravery these fine people endure to help the innocent.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Many thanks to these people, and those like them. We love to put animals in zoos for everyone to see, but when things fall apart animals cannot free themselves from zoo cages. All they can do is starve along with their friends trapped in other cages. So few people think about such animals, they care only about saving themselves. I have to admit, never having been in a war zone or a populated disaster zone, I never even thought of some of the hazards of zoos. That one has never crossed my mind.
    Wild or lost dogs in a disaster area, though, I have had a bit of experience with. We have a woman where I live who for years has collects abandoned dogs and cats, or wild ones, houses them a while, then transports them 800 kilometres to the shelters in the city where good homes are found for them. We have housed some of those dogs for her when she is overfull.
    Her reward for doing this service, basically on her own, has been to be harassed by the town and the Mounties for misusing private property within town limits. She has thousands of dollars in fines owing to the town, has had a house taken away from her, condemned and razed to the ground because the smell bothered her neighbours, and various other mistreatments. Such a kind heart, surrounded by petty people with puny minds.
    Until the recent wildfires around us…
    The number of pets abandoned in the recent evacuation, and not collected by their owners on their return to town, is staggering. The small SPCA shelter in town is overrun, and suddenly the town has come begging at her door for her to set up a large shelter in town to help care for these poor animals. They are in the process of finding a building to renovate for her to make sure the animals are humanely cared for. But so far they have not made their plans public. They had already made her Public Enemy No. 1 in town, and they aren’t yet ready to eat Public Crow. Still after 20 years, they are finally admitting they need her, after virtually kicking her out of town.
    She and Chella Plillips have a lot in common. They see a need, and try to do something about it when no one else will. Congratulations to them, and everyone like them!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I used to love a trip to the zoo, until I realized that … this is not where these gorgeous creatures belong! Suddenly it was no longer much fun, reminded me of sad prisoners with no where to go but death.

      I thought of you, and your mention of all the people who left their pets behind in the recent wildfire evacuations, when I was researching the piece on Ms. Phillips and the dogs. I am horrified by the story of the woman trying to help animals and being vilified, fined, and even losing her home in return for her efforts! Has nobody thought to start a collection to help her pay her fines? That is … it is unconscionable! Two thumbs up to the woman, and I hope somebody steps up to defend and help her soon. Thanks for telling me! Hugs.


      • Robin does have a group of defenders, me included, but Robin only accepts certain kinds of help. Those fines are never going to get paid, she won’t allow it. It is a point of honour for her. Any money donated to her goes to sheltering the animals, or gasoline to transport them to the city shelters. And it is not tax deductible.

        Yes, I agree, zoos should never happen, at least not zoos with cages. I like the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg because most of the inhabitants are kept in bar-less spaces where they can roam and race, or climb and fly. But not all, especially the predators. Those should be returned to the wild. (I mean they all should, but zoos do help young children learn about the larger world, not just their little corner. It is a verifiable Catch-22 situation.) Videos are a viable alternative, but they don’t give the smells and sounds and the touches that make something real. I can see both sides, but I wish zoos were never invented.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good for Robin!!! I like seeing someone stand against the ‘powers-that-be’, standing for what is just right by any common sense.

          Yes, zoos do serve some purpose, and some are refuges for animals that for one reason or another can no longer survive in their natural habitat … those I like. But, seeing animals in cages … just breaks my heart.


  5. Pingback: A Blog Repost on Good People helping Animals – Stargazing Futures

  6. I will reblog this if I can (seem to have trouble doing this sometimes.

    Ms Philips rescue of dogs to her home during Hurricane Dorian has hit social media and main media, resulting in donors raising $67,000 to help her in the aftermath of the storm.

    The veterinarian who risks his own life to save animals in war torn zones is a very special kind of person. Animals left to starve by other people, have no hope without his efforts.

    Lovely Wednesday share Jill. 🤗❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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