Rescue of the Month: Little Joe Lands

Journey with a small, blind kitten from Beirut to Boston.

By Anthony Hall

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“Mom, Dad … can I keep him?” That’s all the hero a lost tabby needs. Sometimes, however, it takes more than that.

An international team of rescue workers, veterinarians and pilots collaborated in late September 2006 to fly 151 cats and 149 dogs from war-torn Beirut to the United States. The city’s three shelters, run by Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), were very close to the fighting. When shrapnel was discovered in a dog cage at a suburban BETA shelter, the animals were moved to a nearby farm. Surely it was time to leave.

The staff at Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, heard of BETA’s plight. They sent supplies ahead and took one of the first flights into Lebanon after Israel lifted the air-blockade last fall. Quickly they crated the animals for evacuation. Among them was Little Joe, a yellow-and-white tomcat, whose story traveled with him.

He was found at 3 months of age, under-sized, hungry and blind. His lungs were full of dust, which is typical of pets in war zones, according to an American veterinarian.

**For the full article, pick up the May 2007 issue of CAT FANCY.**

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