Cat at cat shelter in Indonesia after earthquake - World Animal Protection - Animals in disasters

Animals still in urgent need after Indonesia earthquake


Our disaster response team is on Sulawesi island working hard to help farm animals and pets survive. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake triggered a tsunami which wrecked everything in its path

So far, at least 1,400 people have died since the earthquake struck on September 28, and hundreds more are missing. More than 200,000 people need urgent help and the tsunami has destroyed more than 66,000 homes.

The extent of the impact on animals is currently unknown. Our disaster response team, including vets, is assessing the situation in Palu city, one of the worst-affected areas.

Emergency food and water

We’re visiting shelters where people have fled with their animals, and helping them meet basic survival needs by distributing emergency food and clean water.


Cat being treated at shelter in Pula, Sulawesi

We’ll also be giving out vet kits for animals trapped in disaster zones as soon as it’s safe to do so. These will include treatment for injuries and diseases.

Delayed effect on animals

Sadly, the impact will be felt for a considerable amount of time.

As with other natural disasters of this scale, it can take an average of two weeks for animals to start dying or becoming sick, due to contaminated water and food.

Our disaster response manager, Dr Naritsorn Pholperm, described his first impressions on reaching the city of Makassar:

"There are only a few people who have been able to travel to ground zero. We were the first animal welfare organisation to get there. We are trying our best to ensure we provide assistance for animals in time."

In Palu, losses remain unknown, as communications are down, and bridges and roads have been destroyed or blocked by landslides.

The team has an initial supply of dry dog food, wet pet food, and some medicines for treating minor injuries, but this is just the beginning of a long process.


A volunteer at the cat shelter we visited sits with a cat under an evacuation tent

Always ready

We never know when a disaster will strike. But our dedicated teams are ready to respond at a moment’s notice and will work around the clock in a disaster zone.

Thanks to our incredible supporters, we’re able to help thousands of animals across the world who are so dreadfully affected by disasters like this one.

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We were the first animal welfare organisation to get there. We are trying our best to ensure we provide assistance for animals in time.

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