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The puppy rescuers of Alexandria

The Puppy Rescuers of Alexandria )
  • 9 August 2016
Mariem Taha and Babsy RockImage copyrightMARIEM TAHA
Image captionMariem Taha, her daughter and Babsy Rock

"No one can tell you that we are a nation without hope."

Words from a viral Facebook post in praise of Egyptian animal lovers who acted to save a puppy that was trapped under large stone boulders for more than three weeks.

The puppy had reportedly been abandoned to a slow lingering death by its owners. But a group of volunteers banded together to mobilise a rescue mission which hundreds of thousands followed on social media.

Dog trapped under some bouldersImage copyrightASHRAF SULTAN / IMGUR
Image captionRescuers stepped in when the puppy was left to die by its owners

The story begins in early July when Mariem Taha, a 36-year-old resident of Egypt's port city Alexandria, began to hear the unsettling sound of whimpering when she was at a cafe on the famous sea front corniche.

"It was very upsetting sound so I asked the cafe owner what it was, " Taha told BBC Trending, "He said that on the previous day some people had a come with a puppy and the puppy had fallen in between the gaps of the of some stone boulders. The people then abandoned the puppy. The whimpering was very upsetting so I decided to go in search of the puppy.

"The first three days I could hear the puppy but I couldn't see her. So I wasn't sure where to throw food for her, and she may have been scared. By the third day, she was familiar with my voice so she appeared in the gaps. I couldn't reach for her but I could feed her. I decided to name her Babsy Rock."

Taha returned daily to feed Babsy Rock but couldn't work out a way to rescue her. So she turned to a Facebook group called 'Save Innocent Souls'. The group was known to be frequented by animal welfare activists. A post requesting help was met with several people offering to help.

The progress of the rescue was documented on social media and this gallery has been viewed more than 300,000 times online on the photo sharing site IMGUR.

Dog rescueImage copyrightREEM MANSOUR FACEBOOK

After persistent lobbying, the local authority sent a crane to aid the rescue.

craneImage copyrightREEM MANSOUR

And Babsy Rock was finally freed having spent a total of around 25 days under the rocks.

puppy with rescuerImage copyrightIMGUR
Image captionVolunteer with Babsy Rock

The rescuers told Mariem of Dr Mahmoud Abdelmaksoud a local vet who did check up on Babsy Rock.

Dr AbdelmaksoudImage copyrightAMR HOSNY PHOTOGRAPHY
Image captionDr Abdelmaksoud has been described as a hero

"Dr Abdelmaksoud is an incredible man, a hero. Many volunteers call him to check up on the animals they have rescued and he offers his services for free," says Mau Hamada, who is the founder of one of the animal rescue groups in Alexandria. Hers is called Animal Zone and she says that they are completely volunteer based, and accept no donations.

"Social media was crucial in the rescue of Babsy Rock. Mariem's posts on Facebook mobilised a lot of us volunteers and many people pitched in with the rescue. A lot of information is shared on digital platforms so that we can do our work," Hamada told Trending, "There are dozens of people in Alexandria helping to rescue animals, they either work in self-organised groups like us or individually."

Campaigners have often been critical of Egypt's record on animal welfare. Mau Hamada says that there a range of factors which can result in the mistreatment of animals; "the fear of stray animals, sadistic individuals and some people that say that dogs are not a welcome part of Islam, although they are in the minority."

rescued dogImage copyrightMARIEM TAHA
Image captionBabsy Rock at Mariem Taha's house post rescue

But there was a happy ending for Babsy Rock who has been adopted by Mariem Taha. And how is she doing now?

"She's very naughty," laughs Taha.

Blog by Megha Mohan and additional reporting by Abdirahim Saeed 

  Goddess watch over us all,  

  Instead of my usual here; to honour these wonderful people I put this... 


kerkevik_2014: (Default)
Saw War Horse, the live cinema broadcast of a London theatre production, in Glasgow today with my friends, Amanda and Ciaran.

And it was a truly wonderful experience, that had me crying AND totally not seeing the people operating the puppet horses. I actually began to think of them as REAL!


Of course, despite some wonderfully supportive friends I, being a totally born-to-be drama queen had to do something to make things more interesting.

Today's late dramatic twist.

Leaving my laptop on Central Station after hugging Amanda goodbye; didn't even realise it until I was nearly at Ciaran's station on the line.

Gotta say though; even though I have to pay £20 to get it out of lost property tomorrow morning; the rail staff could NOT have been more friendly and helpful.

Top people, who I remember when a suitable occasion presents itself.

A good day, which I shall look forward to ending with a ds9_rewatch in about and hour and a half.

Glad I got over my very real depression of the last couple of days.

Goddess watch over us all,
'tis ok to be Takei,
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
On a Cat, Aging by Alexander Gray (1882-1968)

He blinks upon the hearth-rug,
And yawns in deep content,
Accepting all the comforts
That providence has sent.

Louder he purrs, and louder,
In one glad hymn of praise
For all the night's adventures,
For quite, restful days,

Life will go on for ever,
With all that cat can wish:
Warmth and the glad procession
Of fish and milk and fish.

Only - the dim thought disturbs him -
He's noticed once or twice,
The times are now somehow breeding
A nimbler race of mice.

Goddess watch over us all,
'tis ok to be Takei,
kerkevik_2014: (Default)
Looking forward to this Sunday and seeing the National Theatre production of War Horse; though only live at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

Going with a couple of friends, and seeing a friend who's moving to Canada at the end of the month.

Enjoyed the movie tremendously, and liked the book a lot, but this is the one I must admit I've been waiting to see.

One day I'll be in the theatre for it, but this will suffice for now.

Suddenly feeling perked up after spending most of the day feeling frustrated and slightly depressed.

There's always a brighter day around the corner.

Goddess watch over us all,
'tis ok to be Takei,


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