The devastation of the Nepal earthquake has killed thousands and shaken the world. Everyone wants to help. Aid organizations struggle to deliver supplies due to damaged roads and a lack of helicopters and heavy equipment. At the same time, animal rescue organizations like International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are doing their best to help the animals injured or orphaned from the disaster.
The IFAW team arrived in Kathmandu six days after the initial 7.8 earthquake to assess animal needs and joined partner groups including the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Center (KAT), Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS), Soi Dog Foundation and Dog Star Foundation. The physical devastation is tremendous and the loss of life, both human and animal, is overwhelming.
They found many injured animals – some could be treated and others could not. The team initially helped treat goats and other farm animals in rural areas providing care and supplies. Now, they are visiting 17 evacuation sites or tent cities to feed dogs and other pets and provide health check-up and vaccinations as needed.
“People care for their animals so deeply and would do anything to save them,” said Katie Moore, IFAW’s Animal Rescue Program Director. “Evacuees brought their pets with them to the shelter and now they need our help to provide food and veterinary services. We can’t change what happened, but we can offer a glimmer of hope in all of the rubble. We are happy to help the people and animals of Nepal in any way we can.”
IFAW has eight staff members on the ground and will continue operations in the coming weeks as long as help is needed. In just over five years, IFAW has rescued and treated domestic and wild animals in more than 30 of the world’s worst disasters including flood response work in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, in India after Cyclone Phailin and in the deadly aftermath of monsoons in Pakistan.
(This article originally appeared on IFAW. It has been reprinted here with permission.)