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January 21, 2010

Veterinary and Disaster Relief Experts Arrive in Haiti

A team of trained veterinary experts representing Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association arrived in Haiti Thursday evening to provide aid to animals affected by last week's earthquake.

"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 HSI/HSUS/HSVMA field responders include a French-speaking veterinarian and a paramedic trained in disaster response and animal handling. The HSI team is working with a group in the Dominican Republic, Veterinary Care & Human Services, Caribbean Project. Two veterinary technicians from VCHS and a military escort are with the team.

The team will provide immediate animal care as it can, and also assess conditions for animals in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. As circumstances permit, the experts will also advise emergency and relief workers on extra steps they might take in the coming days to alleviate the suffering of animals while the desperate work to help the island's human population continues.     

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.

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