Model Bar Rafaeli took time out from her busy schedule Wednesday to help out Israel's struggling animal lovers association, Ahava, which is still caring for hundreds of pets abandoned in the North during last summer's war with Hizbullah.
In Israel for a two-day photo shoot with an Israeli swimsuit company, Rafaeli stopped off at Ahava's Sharon region kennels to take some more photos, this time with two dogs - Roni and Honey - both left behind in the North.
"We've been in touch with Bar for the past two months asking her to help us," said Tamara More, volunteer director and spokeswoman for Ahava. "We know she loves animals and she has been very positive about showing her support but her schedule is so hectic, it's been difficult for her to find the time."
More said that Rafaeli nearly missed her return flight to Europe during her brief stop at the shelter, but added that the 21-year-old international model promised to lend her support in the future to the charity, perhaps for a large-scale fundraising event.
"Because she is an international star, we know that Bar's support will definitely raise awareness to our work," said More, adding that the charity is now in serious financial debt after rescuing more than 160 dogs and cats found abandoned and starved during the war.
"We provided the animals with more than 11 tons of food during the war," noted More, adding that some of the animals were injured by shrapnel from Katyusha rockets or left traumatized by the experience. "We now owe the food suppliers close to NIS 40,000 for food and they refuse to give us any more food and we can't afford to supply the animals with medicine or health care."
Currently, Ahava houses 600 dogs and cats in its centers near Tel Aviv and Kiryat Tivon but can only supply food and medicine to some 350 of them, said More.
Anyone interested in volunteering or contributing to Ahava can reach the charity on 03-644 6777 or by e-mail: [email protected]