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October 12, 2016

Humane Society International’s Animal Rescue Team heads to Haiti

Veterinary and disaster relief experts will provide direct care in the areas impacted by Hurricane Matthew

Humane Society International

  • HSI's John Peaveler approaching a group of donkeys shortly after landing in Haiti where he's leading a team of veterinarians to treat animals affected by Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 2016

  • Following the 2010 earthquake, HSI implemented a long-term response to the disaster, and will be on the ground to help once again

  • The team is bringing emergency veterinary medicines, vaccinations and other supplies

  • Many animals are also struggling to cope with the aftermath of the emergency

  • Haiti lacks the capacity to treat the thousands of animals potentially suffering from injuries, disease and infection

  • We are determined to help any animal in need, including companion and farm animals

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Humane Society International has sent a veterinary team to Haiti this week to offer emergency animal rescue and treatment following the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew. The team is bringing emergency veterinary medicines, vaccinations and other supplies to provide direct assistance to animals in need and reinforcement to local animal welfare groups on the ground. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, HSI implemented a long-term response to the disaster, and will be on the ground to help after this disaster, too. Donate to help HSI’s disaster relief efforts.

Alongside the estimated 1,000 people killed and tens of thousands displaced after the hurricane, many animals are also struggling to cope with the aftermath. With only one small veterinary group operating in Haiti, the country lacks the capacity to treat the thousands of animals potentially suffering from injuries, disease and infection. HSI will remain in Haiti to provide veterinary assistance for as long as it’s needed.

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John Peaveler, who leads HSI’s Animal Rescue Team in Haiti, said: “It’s deeply saddening to see the destruction and desperation in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew. Even in the best of times, resources for both people and animals are limited in Haiti, and this disaster has only exacerbated the situation. Together with a small local Haitian group called 4 Patte, HSI's rescue team has reached the remote area of Robin in Marotiere, near Kenskoff, where it's clear that animals have suffered considerably through the tremendous storm. There are hundreds of dogs, cats, goats, cows and donkeys who, just like the people here, have been through a traumatic event and their stress is apparent. We're setting up an emergency veterinary clinic to treat wounds, malnutrition, disease and parasite burden. Without proper care, these animals would endure protracted suffering, so I'm proud to be here helping the countless animal victims of this disaster."

Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for HSI, said: “Hurricane Matthew has ravaged Haiti leaving people and animals in dire need, particularly in the hardest hit southern areas of the country. The extent of the impact to animals has been made clear and we are going in prepared with expertise and supplies. Given our experience in providing emergency aid following the devastating 2010 earthquake, we know many of the hardest hit areas will be very difficult to reach. But we are determined to help any animal in need, including companion and farm animals, and provide emergency rescue, care and food.”

In the coming days, our Animal Rescue Team will provide update reports from the field. Follow HSI on social media to be kept informed of developments. 

Media contacts:
In the US: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301 721 6440
In the UK: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423

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