Sterilization (TNR) of feral cats in Jerusalem

Every day kittens are born and die on the streets of Jerusalem. I wish I could say I was being melodramatic for effect, but I am not. This is the brutal truth.

With an estimated feral cat population of around 200,000 in Jerusalem alone, it is considered the highest of any city in the Middle East, and some say the world.

Starvation, dehydration and fleas are the main causes of suffering and death.

Rescuers are constantly bombarded with messages from kind hearted visitors who find tiny kittens on the street, and don’t know what to do with them. The local shelter kills them because there are too many, and it’s virtually impossible to find anyone willing to foster a kitten in Jerusalem, let alone adopt one.

In my experience, both personal and those shared with me by cat rescuers, the majority of the population is apathetic to the daily suffering they witness, or more accurately, ignore.

Pleas for help from those “on the ground” fall on deaf ears, so they step up and do as much as they can, devoting countless hours and their own resources to doing their best. And that they do. But… the situation is desperate and the suffering rampant.

By definition, a civilized society must care for the weak, the sick and the voiceless, but what went wrong? I asked people living in Jerusalem what they thought. Did seeing so many cats most of their lives make them not notice, or did they want to help but weren’t sure how. I was praying the answer was the latter, but it wasn’t.


I have witnessed with my own eyes the horrendous problem. I saw it first 27 years ago when I lived in Jerusalem, and I saw it three weeks ago during our visit.

Can anything be more heart breaking then coming across 4 kittens and a few adult cats living under a car next to a pile of garbage? Actually, there can be. It’s not being able to help. The only thing we could do was leave them food and water, and walk away.

There isn’t a moment that goes by that I don’t think about that. The sadness at leaving them to a horrific fate, and the frustration of being helpless.

I went to Israel knowing what I would see, and I left with an unwavering commitment to make a difference.

With the majority of residents not interested, and local government not offering much in the way of support, it is up to the rest of us to solve this problem once and for all.

Yes it’s about the suffering, but there are other considerations as well.

Jerusalem is a notable tourist site, so the eyes of the world are upon it. It is unseemly for this holy city to be a place where easily preventable animal suffering is allowed to occur.

Right now, when visitors come to Jerusalem, it is inevitable that some will see nests of hungry half-blind kittens suffering eye infections, and wonder how this tragedy is allowed to occur there.


The solution

The most humane and proven effective way to reduce feral cat numbers, thereby reducing suffering, is through TNR (trap-neuter-return.) Cats are trapped, fixed, returned to where they were taken and cared for until they naturally die out.

This campaign is raising money to sterilize as many street cats as we can at the JSPCA clinic in Jerusalem.  JSPCA has been rescuing animals in Jerusalem for over 80 years. They can perform sterilization surgeries for only 100NIS (roughly $29 USD, $38 Canadian, £24).

Due to a shortage of vets to perform these lifesaving surgeries and a lack of volunteers, donations will cover the following - surgery,  medication, convalescence boarding, people to trap and transport cats to the clinic. We will also be recruiting volunteer vets, and although they will be paying their own way to Israel, we will need to cover expenses for B&B, transport to and from the clinic and airport transfers. 

All money from this campaign will be donated to JSPCA, specifically for this TNR campaign.  Updates will be made on the Animal Rescue Israel Facebook page , so you will know exactly how your contribution is being used

With your help we can do it.

Thank you for your generosity. You cannot imagine how grateful I am.

Donations ()

  • Rabbi Deborah Silver 
    • £36 
    • 1 mo
  • Carlos Gonzales 
    • £25 
    • 3 mos
  • Heather Mallow 
    • £150 
    • 5 mos
  • Rachel Simmons 
    • £40 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £36 
    • 6 mos
See all


Hindy Pearson 
Lee-on-the-Solent, South East England, United Kingdom
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more