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Talya Klirs (USA)




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Talya and Kevis

As part of her Bat Mitzvah project, Talya Klirs invited CHAI to make a presentation to about 200 students at her school, Gesher Day School in Annandale, Virginia, ages kindergarten through seventh grade.


CHAI's Director, Nina Natelson, and Saija Turunen accompanied Kevis to all the classes. The children were told how Kevis, a Samoyed rescued by an Israeli SPCA, had been found starving, dehydrated, and with a badly matted coat, miles from anywhere. He had cuts around his neck from having been tied too tightly and his back was covered with orange paint. Arab shepherds sometimes brand their sheep by painting them with orange paint. Had Kevis been a shepherd's dog?


The children were asked what he must have felt when he was all alone and lost, without food and water.


Thankfully, caring people found him and brought him to the CHAI-supported SPCA, where he waited for 6 months to find a good home. Nina Natelson adopted him and brought him to the U.S.


Photos of the horses Saturday (Shabbat) and Hope (Tikvah), who had been abused and subsequently rescued by CHAI, were shown and their stories were told. The children were reminded about the Jewish mandate not to cause tsa'ar ba'alei hayim (the suffering of animals), and how Jewish heroes were chosen to be leaders of their people because of the kindness they showed to animals. Special activities highlighted the fact that animals and people have the same feelings and needs and it is our responsibility to protect and care for them. The children undertook tzedakah (charity) projects to help CHAI, and the school sent CHAI's newsletter to the parents of all the children.