Asia Pacific Disaster Update: WSPA responds to animal emergency

Oct 22, 2009

The World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA) disaster response team has been able to relieve the suffering of hundreds of animals caught up in the natural disasters in Asia Pacific through the provision of much needed food and medical care.


The islands of Samoa have a significant dog population and people are heavily reliant on their cattle, pigs and chickens. The team distributed hundreds of cans of cat and dog food to the six worst hit villages, provided by WSPA member society, the Animal Protection Society of Samoa.  In addition, Hill’s Pet Nutrition from New Zealand donated 2 metric tons of its dog food to villagers for their animals.

The mayor of Saleaamua village, Tiumalu Amakisa, said: “Thank you so much for your donation.  Thank you for what you do for us and our country.” 

WSPA New Zealand’s regional manager and chair of the country’s National Animal Welfare Emergency Management Group, Melissa Brown added that the WSPA team had met an extremely lucky family in Ulutogia who managed to escape unharmed from the tsunami, thanks to their dog. “He sensed the water coming and started barking. Thankfully, the family looked to see what had frightened him and saw the wave coming. Their houses were destroyed but the people were able to escape with their two young children, their dogs and their neighbors too.”


The tsunami that struck Indonesia caused the death of thousands of people and animals. The worst affected areas were Padang, Pariaman and Padang Pariaman.

Through coordinated efforts with our member societies Profauna and Yudhistira and government livestock department vets, hundreds of animals were provided with emergency and basic treatment and pet owners were given dog and cat food. Mineral blocks for cows and buffaloes were also distributed to livestock owners.

Staff and volunteers from Profauna and Yudhistira received training on disaster assessment and response.


The Philippines

In the Philippines, the aftermath of the two cyclones caused severe flooding and damage to shelters. In one pound where the water level rose to 9 feet all the animals drowned and a further 3,600 dogs were brought to evacuation centers.

The WSPA team managed to provide food and medicine for animals rescued from the floods in the Marakina city pound and food for Muntinlupa city pound as well as hundreds of collars and leashes at the evacuation centers in Marakina and Muntinlupa. The mayor of Muntinlupa expressed his thanks to all volunteers who helped animals affected by flooding in his city.

WSPA coordinated with city vets to distribute food and collars and leashes to the relief centers in each district. The Director of Bureau of Animal Industries also agreed to send the local government vets in these districts to vaccinate dogs for rabies and to report to his office on the number and health of dogs and other animals in the centers.

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