Maryam Sanei, who lives in Tehran, Iran, originally studied Civil Aviation with plans to become a flight attendant. However, her love for animals has kept her on the ground. Sanei has a soft spot for dogs, especially those who have been injured or abandoned. Since there are no government-supported shelters in Iran, she began taking in dogs off of the street and caring for them in her family’s home. Then, by using the power of social media on Facebook and Instagram, she publicized each dog’s case to help find temporary homes and funding to support their medical treatment and care.

“We continued our mission by using boarding homes and clinics and saved around 200 animals, which most have been adopted and are now living happily in their forever homes,” she wrote on her Facebook page. Her posts became so popular that she was eventually able to set up a sanctuary is located in Chahardangeh City in Tehran province. “Our center has the capacity of 50 dogs. When one dog recovers and is homed, there would be space for another dog in need to join our humble family. The angels residing at the center are either stray animals injured, wounded and left to die or animals, which had ignorant owners and needed to be saved and offered the life they deserve.”

Through Sanei’s efforts, homeless, injured, and helpless dogs of Iran, now have a glimmer of hope.

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Sanei’s efforts are crucial to the lives of these dogs, who would likely otherwise be killed in brutal ways, as city contractors are paid nearly $10 for killing each dog as part of government plans to control stray populations.

Despite the heavy expenses of keeping the center running, Sanei refuses to give up. “These animals need us and other rescue teams like us to survive, to live the life they deserve and to be happy,” she said.

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Sanei says she spends $3,600-$4,300 every month on the sanctuary including rent, workers’ salaries, transport, detergents, blankets, food and medicine. Surgeries can multiply that figure as well. To cover the costs Sanei looks to social networks, where she asks her followers to pay $3.30 dollars per month.  To keep up to date on the shelter’s progress and learn more about making a contribution, visit its Facebook and Instagram pages.

All image source: Maryam Saneia/Facebook