With a major disaster like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we tend to initially count the human cost, but animals are also in need of rescue during such tragic circumstances. The Humane Society International is getting involved, helping both family pets and farm animals left alone or injured by the storm.
With everything that is going on around them after the typhoon, the Filipino people are so grateful to have assistance for their cats and dogs. They have enough to worry about just surviving and staying alive amongst the wreckage. Government authorities also appreciate the hand that the organization is extending to them. Humane Society International (HSI) has a team of eleven people currently rescuing and assessing animals in the area.
In the video at the end of this article, you will see dogs desperately hunting through the debris for something to eat, separated from their owners, who may not even be alive.
Those that do remain with their families are straining the small resources available to the people who care for them. Those families are only too happy to have assistance in the form of food and clean water for their pets. Emergency veterinary care is also being given by HSI as they move through the area.
The video shows us the results of the disaster in Bantayan in the Philippines, where people have been barely surviving in a camp after losing everything in the disaster. The team just couldn’t get over the smiles of the children, as their beloved pets received food and attention. Animal street feeding stations are being set up wherever possible for dogs and cats, roaming the streets without their owners, until rescue is possible.
The organization says that everywhere they visit amongst the rubble and devastation, they find that virtually every other home actually had a dog and a cat, so the work ahead of them is massive.
However, in Bantayan, it is not just family pets that are suffering. The area is well known for factory farming, and those animals are also in extreme distress. Officials with the group found many dead birds among the large-scale chicken farming operations and factory-farmed pigs were left in the open, some badly injured, with no shelter from the burning hot sun.
The next step for the organization is to visit both Palo and Tacloban, two of the worst-hit areas in the Philippines.
Currently they are awaiting security permission to enter the area, but while waiting, supplies and equipment are being ordered, as there are sure to be many cats and dogs in need of rescue. When the local residents were evacuated, they were, unfortunately, unable to take their pets with them.
In the meantime the animals will be given food and water and there is a possibility of setting up a shelter for the animals, where they can also receive treatment and a safe roof over their head.
Anyone willing to assist can visit the website of Humane Society International to make a donation. Even the smallest amounts can assist an animal in the Philippines and pay towards their rescue during the ongoing disaster.
By: Anne Sewell
The Oakland Press