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January 25, 2010

Hurricane Katrina to Haiti: Dogs Survive Two Disasters

From Wayne's Blog

dogs survive katrina, earthquake

Our team with the two dogs. HSI

Perhaps because of its chronic poverty, Haiti does not have the level of pet-keeping seen in many other nations.

We fortunately have not yet discovered or learned of large numbers of animals trapped in buildings and killed when these structures collapsed. The farm animals also seem to be in acceptable shape, and they, of course, are concentrated in the more rural areas, which were not at the epicenter of the earthquake.

The stray population was substantial before the quake hit, and the health of these animals remains an ongoing concern. In the days ahead, we’ll be concentrating on providing feeding stations and water for the strays, and we’ll also work with government responders and humanitarian groups to handle situations properly when they come across animals in need or in distress.

We were the first animal welfare organization to send a response team to Haiti, and we’re now assembling a second wave of veterinarians and disaster responders to make their way to the affected area. We plan on being deployed for weeks and to not divert our focus from this crisis.

Perhaps the most exciting news is also one of the most improbable and remarkable of stories. A day after the earthquake struck we received an urgent plea for help from an American couple living in Port-au-Prince. They'd been forced to evacuate very quickly and were not able to bring along their two dogs. We explained that we were working to get responders into Haiti as soon as possible, and pledged that we would do everything we could to help once our team hit the ground.

Read the rest of Wayne's blog here.

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