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August 17, 2018

Kerala floods: Animal rescuers race to save abandoned animals amid State’s worst floods and landslides in a century

Humane Society International/India reports many animals have perished in disaster

Humane Society International/India

New Delhi—An animal rescue team from animal charity Humane Society International/India is battling treacherous conditions in Kerala, India to rescue and rehabilitate animals stranded or abandoned in what is being called the worst floods the State has seen in a century.

A team of six HSI/India experts have been operating in Nilambur and Tirur, Kerala’s worst affected regions, for the past four days. They are working with the Government of Kerala and the National Disaster Response Force to locate and rescue dogs, cats and other animals left behind in evacuations. HSI India’s team is also providing vital medicines, shelter and food for sick and injured animals.

Support our International Disaster Relief Fund.

Humanitarian and animal rescue teams alike face dangerous conditions as the floods continue to submerge houses and landslides hit the affected areas. Sally Varma, HSI/India’s Education and Awareness Officer, reports that vast numbers of animals have drowned in the disaster, but HSI/India’s team is finding animals trapped in the remains of dwellings swept away by the water. Other animals, like two puppies that HSI India have named Wally and Eva, were found tied up in danger of drowning as the water levels rose. One woman in Thrissur refused to leave her home without help to rescue her 25 dogs, so HSI India’s team arranged for their shelter at a nearby veterinary hospital so that they and the woman would be safe.

Sally Varma said, “Kerala is at a standstill right now, with many areas experiencing total devastation. Our team is encountering many animals who have perished. However, we are still finding abandoned dogs and were recently able to rescue 13 dogs and a tiny kitten who we found trembling as the floods raged around him. We are bracing ourselves for when the floods subside and we can finally access some of the areas currently totally cut off, where we may find more animals we’re desperately hoping to reach.”

HSI/India is coordinating with the collector of the districts and government veterinary hospitals to assist and to accommodate animals across Kerala.

HSI responds to natural disasters around the world to assist animals and communities in need. In June, HSI stepped in to provide emergency treatment to dogs, cats, chickens, horses and other animals affected by the Volcan de Fuego eruptions in Guatemala. Last year, HSI helped more than 6,200 animals affected by deadly earthquakes in Mexico.

HSI is asking for donations to its International Disaster Fund to help the charity continue providing essential rescue, veterinary medicines, food, water, shelter transport and support for this response and for other disasters around the world. Donate at hsi.org/disasteraid

Photos and video from our animal rescue efforts in Kerala are available here: https://newsroom.humanesociety.org/fetcher/index.php?searchMerlin=1&searchBrightcove=1&submitted=1&mw=d&q=KeralaFloods0818

ENDS

Media Contact:

HSI (India) Neelam Naseeb: nnaseeb@hsi.org, +919205104695

HSI (UK) Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org

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