Dear Dr. John,
Like so many people, I find myself devastated and depressed about the events in the Middle East that started with the invasion and atrocities brought about by Hamas in Israel. This has led to an escalation that seems to be having effects all over the entire region. As badly as I may feel, I realize how insignificant that is to the many people who have lost everything, including life.
I was struck by a video of the initial attack which showed a dog being shot and killed. I cannot imagine how many animals have been injured or killed in this war. Despite feeling helpless in all of this, can you direct me as to how I may send some money to help the animals that have been caught up in the conflict? I also wonder about animals that have lost legs through injury. Do prosthetics work as well on our four-legged friends as they now do on people? I.A.
My column is about animals and asking the vet what I think. The one thing that does bond most of humanity is a love for animals and a desire to care for them even if we do not care well for one another. There is an abundance of well-intentioned animal welfare and care groups here and abroad and I would direct you to the internet to research those that you would like to support with your philanthropy. Most, if not all, are worthy of your generosity and all the animals deserve our love and help.
I chaired the American Veterinary Medical Foundation a few years ago and it supports these kinds of issues in making sure the financial aid actually reaches the animals. For example, they have already given over $500,000 to support animal care and welfare in Ukraine. They have not yet met to consider support to animals in Israel and Gaza as it is very recent. They would welcome any contribution. As for prosthetics, they have proven to be helpful in dogs and cats but not in larger species per se. The reason they are not seen often is the cost, which usually runs from $1,000-$1,500, and the simple fact that dogs and cats do very well on three legs when they lose one. Thanks for your concern for man and animals alike.
Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.