A Message to Canadians
Timeline of Relief Efforts
Numbers and Kinds of Animals At Risk, Rescued and Receiving Field Care
Animal Emergency Response Network
Donation of Supplies
Volunteer Animal Rescue Workers
Adoption of Haiti Animals
Fostering of Haiti Animals
For the Moment, Think Globally, Foster and Adopt Locally
News Media Stories About Specific Animals
Protecting Your Own Animals in The Event of Disasters
Raise Funds for The Humane Society of Canada Haiti Relief Efforts
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck Haiti just outside of the capitol city of Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. Since that time 33 aftershocks, the most recent on January 21, 2010 measured 5.9 on the richter scale. Each one of the hard hit communities, having lost so much, includes families who are missing their animals. Orphaned and injured wildlife are also at risk. We are talking about tens of thousands of dogs, cats, birds, small animals, horses, farm animals and wildlife. What we accomplish will be measured by saving one animal at a time.
Along with many others, The Humane Society of Canada knows that people and animals could and should and are being rescued from the disaster area, relying on the expertise and resources of human and animal rescue and relief teams working tirelessly alongside one another in search, rescue, relief and recovery operations. With everyone’s combined dedication, efforts and strength of purpose, people and their animals are not the forgotten victims of the Haitian earthquake.
The following phases represent the overall Haiti animal rescue and relief efforts to date:
Needs assessment after earthquake hits including estimates of number and types of animals affected, widespread and localized nature of impacts, numbers and nature of illness and injuries inflicted on animals and relationship with human disaster relief efforts
Initial and ongoing effective collection, transhipment, secure storage and delivery of supplies and trained rescue personnel and volunteers
Rescue & shelter large numbers and wide range of animals and establishing effective lines of communication to effectively coordinate disaster centre, field, shelter, veterinary and relocation and adoption efforts with animal rescue and field operations
Veterinary triage examination and treatment for specific injuries ranging from heat exposure, dehydration, lack of food, wounds
Providing emergency food, water and veterinary care for stray animals through field feeding stations until other rescue attempts can be made
Identify and reunite as many lost animals as possible with their families
Adoption of strays and those animals not reunited with their families
Recovery and rebuilding efforts for local animal shelters, veterinary clinics, stables and other animal facilities
Aftermath assessment of disaster preparedness and emergency response
Incorporation of animal rescue and relief strategies into local disaster and emergency preparedness plans and practice drills
Preventing and reducing to whatever degree practical the frequency and intensity of natural disasters through more effective community and internationally based environmental policy, planning, implementation and monitoring strategies
Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and other small animals, horses, farm animals and wildlife are all at risk. Younger and older animals, and those requiring special care and medication are in the greatest danger.
The nature of the rescue and relief operations in any disaster zone means that there are always conflicting reports about the numbers and types of animals affected and those which have been rescued and are receiving veterinary care; those which have been reunited with their families; or stray animals receiving care through field stations (some animals are so frightened that they cannot be captured immediately because they will not allow rescue teams to approach them).
By reviewing the best available information from a number of sources to date, in our judgement, the best estimate for the numbers of animals rescued, reunited with their families and stray animals given field care numbers over six thousand animals including dogs, cats, horses, small animals and wildlife. There are still tens of thousands of animals at risk.
Animal food, bottled water, veterinary supplies, temporary shelters, animal carriers, fencing, pet id supplies, communications equipment, survival gear, batteries, generators, compressors, vehicles, boats, specialized animal rescue equipment, spare parts, gasoline and diesel fuel, tools, building materials, logistical support for animal rescue workers, digital cameras, office supplies and computer equipment are all in demand. We have received many messages from people across Canada and from other countries that have small, individual donations or collections of these kinds of items, and we are grateful for their kindness and their generosity of spirit. However, at present it is difficult to logistically collect, transport and distribute these items in small quantities and we are working to resolve this issue. Please watch our website for further updates in this regard.
We are asking for donations to purchase these supplies locally and to transport them to the affected areas.
Coordinating efforts to receive and ship large quantities of these animals with corporations and government officials is ongoing.
We have received many messages from concerned people in Canada and other countries who want to become volunteer animal rescue workers and to travel and work in the disaster zones. From experience, we know that this is very demanding and dangerous work. The person needs to be in excellent health and be properly vaccinated against a number of diseases such as hepatitis and tetanus, and preferably, also vaccinated against rabies. Because resources of all kinds are in short supply in and around the disaster zones, people need to work with a recognized and authorized animal rescue group and must be entirely self supporting and provide their own funds, accommodation, transportation, food, clothing and health care needs and insurance. Because of the nature of this emergency, people with previous disaster relief experience and animal care personnel are being selected first.
At least until further notice animals are not being placed for adoption in order to give as many animals as possible a chance to be reunited with their families. We are certain you would agree that people and their animals, who have already lost so much, deserve the chance to become a family once again. Right now, the only animals that have been adopted are those which have been voluntarily given up by their owners or those stray animals which have been clearly identified as having no families.
Rescue, recovery and relief efforts are still underway. Therefore, wherever possible, foster homes are located nearby or animals are being clearly identified before being moved to specially designated foster shelters and locations in nearby areas not affected by the earthquake.
Until you can adopt or foster one of the animals from Haiti, please remember the animals in your local humane society, SPCA, shelter or rescue groups that need permanent loving homes or need to be fostered. If you need help, please contact us for more details for animals that need help nearest you.
To learn more about how to protect your own animals before disaster strikes, we have prepared a Special Humane Society of Canada Emergency Response package which can be found here.
On behalf of the animals, thank you for caring,
Chairman & CEO
The Humane Society of Canada