Racing to help animals suffering after devastating earthquake in Nepal
By Scott Cantin
With today's news that the death toll from Nepal's earthquake passed 5000 people and the UN reporting 8 million affected, the horror and scale of the disaster continues to grow.
Our team arrived yesterday and have immediately begun a rapid relief operation to come to the aid of animals and the people who need them. Working alongside and complimenting the work of humanitarian organisations, we are ensuring that these less often considered but equally vulnerable victims get food, veterinary care and whatever else they may need in this terrible time.
We are working with the government to determine animal needs and numbers but these remain unknown as the quake, in addition to damaging the capital and surrounding cities, has destroyed communities in the mountainous regions that ring the Kathmandu valley.
This is my first time back to Nepal since I lived there fifteen years ago and seeing what was once home reduced to rubble and so much suffering affects me like no other disaster. I remember the kindness of Nepalis and the way they lived so closely with their animals. I fear for my old home Thulo Syabru as news reports say villages in the area have been wiped out by landslides or slipped off their precarious mountainside perches entirely. My heart breaks for the hard working farmers, their innocent children and animals and I watch the news constantly, hopeful for some good news.
We are here to help and save animals' lives, protect and maintain their health and stave off starvation. They and their human companions urgently need our help. Please don't turn away from the difficult images on TV or think that we and other relief organisations have it covered. The needs are massive and heart breaking.
We move fast to protect animals affected by disasters. Read more about our work.
Image: Florian Witulski