Inbal Kessem of Shanti Farms with rescued dog (Facebook) (Facebook)
Inbal Kessem

‘They deserve a chance. Many people simply avoid dealing with them, and then they’re euthanized with no other option on the table.’

By Shula Rosen

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend,” but if they are mistreated, they can unfortunately behave like enemies.

Fortunately,  a farm in Israel is giving dogs from Gaza a second chance, saving some from almost certain euthanasia.

The Shanti Farm, founded in 2019 in Atlanta by Inbal Kessem, has focused on saving animals for years, but the war in Gaza has created a particular need to care for abused and neglected dogs from Gaza.

“We assume dogs coming to us have undergone very harsh training in Gaza, involving starvation, beatings, and being fenced off,” Inbal Kesem, the manager of Shanti, told Ynet.

“Some dogs arrived with severe traumas also resulting from the explosions. We had a dog that was afraid of any small noise. We had dogs that were shot and burned. Some dogs were very aggressive in levels we weren’t familiar with here,” she said.

Kessem discussed one dog named Julian, whose behavior was so out of control that euthanizing him seemed almost inevitable.

“They said the dog was crazy and psychotic, and there’s no chance to rehabilitate him,” she recounts.

After some persuasion, Julian was released to Kessem’s care. After six months of rehabilitation, he is able to act normally for periods of time around humans and other animals.

“The road ahead is still long, but I believe in him,” Kessem said.

She said she believes that all dogs deserve a chance, especially if they’ve been mistreated and have never been given a first chance.
“They deserve a chance,” she said. “Many people simply avoid dealing with them, and then they’re euthanized with no other option on the table.”

Since the ground war in Gaza began, the IDF has rescued cats, dogs, parrots, owls, and even a neglected lion from the Gaza zoo.

Lieutenant Lihi Agiv, a communications officer in the 12th Division, described rescuing a puppy while serving on the front lines.

Lt. Agiv told Ynet: “I was touring with the division commander when I noticed a skinny, scared little puppy that ran to us. She was shaking. I have a dog at home so I’m very sensitive to animals. I picked her up and took her with me.”

After Lieutenant Lihi fed the puppy and gave her water, she knew that Beit Hanoun was no place for such a vulnerable creature.

The puppy was sent to her new owner, and all of the soldiers gave her a warm welcome.

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