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Future Veterinarian Harout Lives to Care for Animals

Thirteen-year-old Harout loves animals, especially those abandoned as pets.

He lives with his mother and grandmother in Nor Kharberd (New Kharberd) a village of 6,000 located four kilometers south of Yerevan.

Harout finds abandoned animals and takes care of them. Some people bring animals they’ve found to Harout, knowing the boy will care for them. 

When an animal dies under his care, Harout buries them in a nearby wood, placing flowers on the grave.

Gayaneh, Harout’s mom, relates how her husband, who loved to drink, regularly beat her.

She says her husband was a jealous man who went so far as to do household chores so that she stayed at home. The couple later separated.

Caring for animals is one way Harout deals with the behavioral issues he suffers from. The boy also suffers from learning disabilities.

Harout not only cares for abandoned dogs but has adopted a couple of guinea pigs, chickens, geese, cats and rabbits.

"He lives in a world of animals. Just see how he cares for them," says the boy’s mother.

The three of them live on state benefits and on the disability pensions that Harout and his grandmother, Mrs. Hasmik Harutyunyan, receive. The 65-year-old has diabetes and has just one working kidney.

Their house lacks a bathroom and shower facilities. Harout takes sponge baths in the house while the women wait until dark to bathe in the yard outside.

Harout attends school and is well-liked by his classmates.

He wants to become a veterinarian, adding that it pains him to see how people mistreat animals.

“I find it easier to relate to animals than people,” says the future vet.

The midday sun has turned the small house into an oven. Gayaneh and Hasmik sit on a bench in the yard.

Watching Harout, they smile when the boy, for a moment, decides which of his animals to tend to.

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