ANTAKYA,Türkiye—A veterinarian and animal rescue team from Humane Society International who have deployed to Antakya, Türkiye following the earthquakes, are responding to requests from locals to find their missing pets. Following the original 7.8 magnitude earthquake and a second 6.4 magnitude yesterday, dogs and cats can be seen roaming the streets, and desperate barks and meows can still be heard coming from abandoned and collapsed buildings. HSI is working with a team of local vets responding to as many calls as possible.
Kelly Donithan, HSI’s director of animal disaster response, is leading HSI’s deployment. Ms Donithan says: “Every day here our team is heading out to search for animals in the worst affected areas. We’re bringing back rescued dogs and cats suffering with cuts, bruising, malnutrition, dehydration and infections. We’re working with an amazing team of local vets and volunteers in a veterinary field hospital tent, and the calls for help keep coming in. People who evacuated are worried for their pets left behind, so wherever possible we locate their apartments and find them. We’re also picking up animals on the street; we found a mother dog who had very recently given birth, her puppies were still blind but somehow she’d managed to keep them safe. When we settled her in a comfy bed at the hospital she was so exhausted she slept all day while her pups suckled.
We’ve been setting up water bowls on street corners as so many roaming animals are suffering from dehydration. It’s hard to estimate how many animals have been impacted by this disaster, but the numbers are certainly high. It’s clear that for the people here who have lost everything, to know that their pet companions are safe means a lot and it is humbling for our animal rescue work to be so welcomed by the people we’re meeting in Antakya.”
Humane Society International’s team of experienced disaster responders have come from the United States, Europe, Mexico and Costa Rica, and will soon be joined by colleagues from Colombia and India. HSI has additionally provided an emergency grant of financial aid to local rescue groups Working Animals Rescue Foundation and Homeless Animals Protection Society, enabling them to dispatch veterinarians and response vehicles to get veterinary and relief supplies to the animals and their people most in need.
HSI responds to disasters around the world to assist animals and communities in need, and in the past has stepped in to provide emergency treatment to animals affected by volcanic eruptions in Guatemala; deadly earthquakes in Nepal, Ecuador and Mexico; hurricanes, flash floods and cyclones in India, Haiti and Mozambique; and wildfires in Australia and Chile; as well as helping refugees and their pets fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Donate to HSI’s Animal Rescue Fund here to provide grants, vital supplies and fund our teams in emergency situations such as this.
Media contact: Wendy Higgins, director of international media: email@example.com