The Syrian city of Aleppo is one of the most dangerous places to be living in right now. And, while many of its residents have left their homes to escape the war, one man has remained behind to care for the city’s hundreds of abandoned and stray cats. Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, also known as “the Cat Man of Aleppo” has rescued more than 100 cats in the war-torn city. Many of them were pets that were left behind by families that fled the country. “Some people just left them with me knowing that I love cats,” Aljaleel told the BBC.
He started out caring for 20 or 30 cats and now, a year later, the number has swelled to more than a hundred. Alaa started a sanctuary known as Il Gattaro d’Aleppo where he takes care of any stray that needs his help.
“Since everyone left the country, including my own friends, these cats have become my friends here,” he said. “I’ll stay with them no matter what happens.”