We're not making this up. Dear god, we wish we were.
Jihadi fighters are hunting down kittens in the Iraqi city of Mosul after a fatwa on cat-breeders was issued by senior ISIS clerics.
The new law forbids the indoor breeding of cats inside the Islamic State's 'caliphate' and claims to be in line with the jihadists' "vision, ideology and beliefs".
Residents of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul were warned not to violate the ban, which was declared on Tuesday, as ISIS fighters began searching their houses for kittens, Iraqi News reported.
What makes this move particularly contemptible is that ISIS recruiters have long taken advantage of cats' online popularity--posting pictures of their fighters holding kittens in loving poses as a way of attracting young people to their movement.
A UN report in 2014 showed thousands of jihadists had flocked to Iraq and Syria after seeing pictures of cats posed alongside AK-47s and in the arms of masked terrorists. 15,000 fighters from 80 countries joined the fight after seeing their posts on social media.
Now, apparently, the tide has turned, and every cat person's worst nightmare is about to come true in ISIS-controlled territories.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you're like us, your first reaction upon reading this news was to feel physically sick, and then to cry for half an hour as you imagined how it would feel if authorities came to your home and took your cats away.
So go do that. Then dry your eyes. We have work to do.
We have written to the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Humane Society International, asking them to coordinate a rescue effort for these cats and kittens if at all possible. We encourage you to do the same.
We know that it may be so dangerous as to be impossible--but perhaps a few can be saved.
We have also offered to coordinate a "Homer's Heroes" foster network here in the U.S. and in the UK of volunteers willing to give temporary safe homes to any cats or kittens who can be rescued from the area. Additionally, if a rescue effort can be coordinated, we will begin a "Homer's Heroes" fundraiser to support the rescuers' work.
Lastly, we will do our best to coordinate with the no-kill shelters with whom we have relationships to find permanent homes for the cats once they're safely here.
If you would be willing to be a part of a temporary foster network, please send an email to gwen(at)gwencooper(dot)com, subject line MOSUL FOSTERS, and let us know what city/state/country you live in.
Again, we have to emphasize that we don't know if any rescue effort will be possible. Most likely, it won't be. But if there's anybody heroic enough to get those cats and kittens out safely, the least Homer's Heroes can do is give them a safe place to land.
We know we'd want someone to do it for our cats.
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