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Relief to Animals in Haiti Comes Slowly

Relief to Animals in Haiti Comes Slowly

Soon after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, two international animal welfare groups joined forces to aid the estimated 5 million displaced animals in the country.  The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) created a new agency called ARCH – Animal Relief Coalition to bring relief. 

 

Since that time, other well-known groups have joined the effort to save animals.  These include Best Friends Animal Society, the ASPCA, Humane Society International, American Humane Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 

All of the groups are now assembled in neighboring Dominican Republic and are ready to move into Haiti on Friday, January 22nd.  They will bring with them a mobile veterinary clinic loaned by the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society. 

 

It may appear that it has taken these groups a long time to spring into action, but it was important for them to gather together, assess the situation and create a concrete plan. All of the organizations plan on keeping their teams in Haiti for a long time.

 

Dick Green of IFAW told USA Today that one of the delays was due to “lack of security” in the country and “an understanding that humans needed help before anything else.” 

 

Today, the government of Haiti gave their official approval for the highly trained animal rescue workers to be deployed into the country. 

 

The overall goal of the mission according ARCH is, “…to make sure emergency aid reaches as many animals in as short a time, as possible.” 

 

Although there are sad reports of a multitude of stray dogs roaming Port-au-Prince looking for food; helping them will not be the first problem the group tackles.

 

Dick Green said, “Priority No. 1 is livestock.”  In Haiti this typically refers to goats and the plan is to take delivery trucks into communities with food and vaccinations for them. 

 

Preservation of livestock is seen as the key to getting Haiti back on its feet.  “Goats are great producers of milk.  We need to get the milk to the families.  Poultry provides eggs.  We need to get the hens laying eggs again.  Then that helps address human needs.  Feed the goat and the humans gain,” said Green.

 

When this goal is complete, ARCH will begin helping homeless dogs and other companion animals.  Unfortunately dogs are not viewed as pets in Haiti. Most live outdoors and adults teach their children not to touch them.  Many people see them as a menace because they attack pigs. 

 

Hopefully, some of these prejudices will change once Haitians see how animal rescue workers interact with animals and after they witness the miraculous efforts of the many search and reach canine teams in their country.

 

For updates on the relief work on behalf of animals go to: Animals in Disaster.  And to read daily updates about the successes of the search and rescue dogs go to: Search Dog Foundation.

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114 comments

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6:45AM PST on Feb 3, 2010

Glad to hear that there are some out there willing to help the animals as well. It's heartening to see this.

3:11AM PST on Feb 3, 2010

.

3:10AM PST on Feb 3, 2010

all the best for the people helping animals...

7:09PM PST on Jan 31, 2010

Just a note to wish these noble people the best of luck in helping thee animals in Haiti. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to even coordinate such an effort in a completely unstructured-shell shocked society. God bless you!

2:28PM PST on Jan 28, 2010

Stuart, why are you posting your petitions in every thread? I looked at some & they don't even have a real TARGET, so what purpose do they serve?

*****************************************************************

A general but important note, too, to everyone who signs petitions here. I just read in the "help" section for them that if you don't add a personal comment on them, your voice gets counted only as ONE person, along with everyone else's who didn't comment. So if there isn't even a SECTION given to comment IN, it sounds like the target #s are virtually useless anyway, as most people just signing them are lumped into that "one" voice. What a stupid system, to just drive more "traffic" to Care2.

If I'm wrong about this, please let us ALL know!

9:16PM PST on Jan 27, 2010

they deserved to live... why not help them as well...

6:27PM PST on Jan 27, 2010

I think they should be helped the same time.. How hard is that you see animal in need why don't you help it.

3:07PM PST on Jan 27, 2010

I WISH I COULD PHYSICALLY HELP! I HAVE DOUBLED UP ON MY MONTHLY DONATION TO THE ASPCA...I HOPE IT HELPS!

5:19PM PST on Jan 26, 2010

Please Sign IF You LOVE Animals :

http://www.wspa-usa.org/pages/1706_animals_matter.cfm

4:41PM PST on Jan 26, 2010

My question follows the statement of Dick Green as presented in the article above: Is ARCH there for the animals AT ALL? If they are there for the animals save the animals then for their own sake not because they are useful means or tools to people....

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