Man Risks Everything To Live In A War Zone And Care For Almost 200 Abandoned Cats

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on September 29, 2016

Some days it feels like there is so little kindness left in the world. Then, we hear stories like that of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, who is not only a shining example of humanity, he puts small problems into perspective.

Alaa lives in Aleppo, Syria, a place that is devastated by war, violence, and destruction. Despite the fact that many of its residents have fled in hopes of a better life, Alaa says he’ll stay, no matter what, because so many lives depend on him.


Alaa has become the guardian to over 170 cats and even a handful of dogs. As hundreds of citizens fled the city, many had no choice but to leave their pets behind. The abandoned and stray cats, left to fend for themselves, began coming to Alaa as he fed and cared for them.

As word spread of the selfless animal lover, desperate families began leaving their cats with Alaa before leaving the country, hoping that they’d be cared for.

One little girl, who’d raised her cat since it was a kitten, cried as she handed her furry friend to Alaa. Her parents wanted to leave, and they couldn’t take the cat with them. She begged Alaa to send her pictures, and he promised he would; now, he frequently sends her snapshots of her beloved pet.  The girl pleaded, “Please promise to return my cat back to me when we come back,” Alaa explained in a video by BBC.

What started as a group of 20-30 cats grew to over 100 in a year’s time. In order to provide a home for them all, he founded a sanctuary, Il Gattaro d’Aleppo.

“Since everyone left the country, including my own friends, these cats have become my friends here,” he said in the video.

Not only has Alaa saved hundreds of animal lives, he is a paramedic who routinely saves humans from the aftermath of destruction and devastation, now part of daily life in Aleppo.

This man is truly an angel on Earth. It’s easy to let something like a spilled coffee or an unexpected bill ruin our day. But for Alaa, death and violence are commonplace, and rather than give up, he does everything he can to help.

“Another ‘Normal’ day in Aleppo…” reads this post.

“Someone who has mercy in their heart for people has mercy for every living thing,” Alaa told BBC.

You can follow this man’s amazing efforts on the Facebook page, Nobel Peace Prize to Alaa. We wish the best for this hero and all the good he does.

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