It's difficult in times of disaster to know how to talk about the impact on animals, when we are struggling to also comprehend the human suffering that is unfolding. Of course we care deeply about both. The earthquake that hit Haiti has had effects that we are only beginning to understand; reports are still emerging about the extent of the damage, suffering and loss of life.
Because this is a blog about animals, I'll share with you what I've learned from two organizations that are focused on the animals in Haiti. The Humane Society of the United States says it is "working with other animal welfare and humanitarian organizations to determine how best to assist animals and people affected by the disaster."
The World Society for the Protection of Animals writes: "Our Disaster Liaison Officer from Panama, Jorge Alcidez Gonzalez who also works as the Head of the K9 unit of Civil Defence, is now travelling out of Panama with a team of specially trained veterinary staff to assess the destruction and welfare needs of the animals. Jorge and his brave team will be treating animals as soon as they are on the ground.
They have told me that they will carry veterinary supplies to treat any injured animals that they come across. I have also arranged for him to feedback the extent of the damage and where we can be of most help, as quickly as possible.
Do look out for more updates from us, as we relay on the information we get from Jorge and the rest of the team."
I know all of our thoughts and prayers are with the organizations that are working to help both humans and animals in Haiti. The links above will offer you information on the animal-related organizations. If you text the word HAITI to the number 90999 from your cell phone, you can automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross to assist with efforts to help the people of Haiti. Your donation will be charged to your mobile phone bill.