January 22, 2010
Haiti Update: Jan. 22
Stray dogs, plans for tomorrow
6:50 PM EST
After crossing the border yesterday evening, the team had to deal with a flat tire, two aftershocks and their truck overheating. Fortunately, they were finally directed to their lodging for the night by two helpful local men whom they then hired to join the group as guides.
As they drove into the country, they saw cattle grazing in fields, stray dogs and rubble everywhere. People are still fearful of getting too close to buildings in case of further collapse.
Today, the team traveled to a site where tent cities had been set up and found many more dogs wandering around the area. Aside from being hungry, the animals encountered there seemed to be in OK condition, but starvation, dehydration and disease remain threats—especially to the injured.
Our vet Rebecca, paramedic Lloyd and the rest of our group attempted to get to the U.S. Embassy, but the lines were so long they gave up temporarily. They did attend a meeting of Interaction, a coalition of non-governmental organizations of which HSI is a member, where security issues were discussed.
Rebecca reported, “The local people are amazing! In spite of the horror surrounding them, their hospitality goes above and beyond. Some won’t accept gifts because we are helping their country.”
Tomorrow, they plan to visit the outskirts of the city to review the situation for farm animals and companion animals further removed from crowds of people and food.