Under conditions of combat, it’s difficult to take a time-out to help animals, especially when you’re in the field. Some do try, though.
“Just this week I heard about a soldier in #Gaza who found a small white kitten in the rubble,” says Let the Animals Live’s Altman. Not having many options, the soldier simply took the tiny thing into the tank, where it lived for some days until it could be taken to a veterinarian for treatment. “Its mouth was full of ulcers and it was infested with fleas,” says Altman.
Happily for the kitten, under the circumstances, it’s deaf – and the soldier has vowed to adopt it when he gets home from the war, Altman adds. But talk about traumatic conditions – that kitty hit the PTSD jackpot. Will he develop it? That will take weeks to find out.
Meanwhile, abandoned dogs in the south who were rescued and taken to a pound in Ashkelon barely react to sirens, if at all, attests Dr. Sharon Maoz Navon, a veterinarian with Let the Animals Live. The pound is a noisy place to begin with, and, being from the south with its frequent rocket attacks, they may have become used to the sound of the sirens, she speculates.
But more to the point, the sirens have no cost for them. “Nothing happens that causes them direct pain. If they felt a blow after the siren, they would associate the noise with pain. But in this case it’s just noise. They don’t know a missile is on the way. If a siren were to be followed by a missile falling on the pound, they’d feel differently and a proportion of them would likely develop PTSD.” So why would a dog inside a house who’s suffered no pain pee on the floor? “They can smell our pheromones. They can smell our fear,” Maoz Navon says. “And then they react with fear.”