The earthquake in Haiti was devastating to both humans and animals. There have been several organizations that have stepped up to help the animals of Haiti.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare and the World Society for the Protection of Animals have partnered to address the needs of the animals in Haiti. The recent earthquakes that devastated the county not only left its people in crisis, but its animals as well. There are approximately 5 million livestock animals in the country, along with a massive stray dog population, a wide variety of companion animals and native wildlife all struggling as a result of the recent earthquake.
“This is a massive challenge and animal non-profits need to cooperate as much as possible,” said Ian Robinson, IFAW’s Emergency Relief Director. “We’re already concerned about a possible outbreak of rabies, leptospirosis, or another zoonotic disease. We need to set up vaccination and feeding programs as soon as possible. Finally, we need to get acute, critical care to the animals that need it most. There’s a lot to do. More than we can do alone.”
A team is currently poised in the Dominican Republic anxiously awaiting entry to Haiti. They have a mobile clinic stocked with vaccines, antibiotics, bandages, food and other supplies in hopes of bringing aid to the animals.
“We’re not certain exactly what we’ll be doing, when we’ll start, or what challenges we’ll face,” said Robinson. “But we know a few things: we’re prepared, we’ve set up a system to work together with other groups, and, given the scale of this disaster, we know we’ll be there a long time.”
Joining the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti is Best Friends. Best Friends has committed to putting 100% of all donations received into directly helping the animals suffering. They have joined with the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti and are committed to providing food, water, rabies vaccines and safety to suffering animals.
The HSUS has also joined and sent a team of relief workers in to assist. They will provide immediate animal care to the best of their capacity. “Humane Society International is now on the scene of this horrific tragedy, moving to provide assistance to animals who may be injured or starving after last week’s earthquake, and laying the groundwork for bringing more resources into play where they are needed,” said Kelly O’Meara, director of HSI’s companion animals division. “HSI expects to deploy additional people and supplies to Port-au-Prince based on our team’s assessment.”
The ASPCA has also committed to partnering with the Coalition and has pledged $25,000 towards the cause. “The ASPCA extends its full support to those organizations providing humanitarian relief in this ravaged island nation, and in the coming days, weeks and months, the animal victims of this disaster will also need aid,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “The ASPCA believes that joining forces and collaborating among our organizations is the most effective way to respond to the devastation facing animals in Haiti.”
“The ASPCA will continue to make financial resources available to ARCH as appropriate in order to provide food, water and medical care to livestock, domesticated animals and wildlife,” Sayres added. “Monitoring the animals’ needs has been and continues to be difficult due to dangerous conditions.”