Hurricane Irma: We deploy to protect the animals in its path
Following the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history, we are deploying to protect animals – the forgotten victims of disasters. Millions of animals could be affected
Hurricane Irma is battering Caribbean nations. Our teams are providing emergency treatment for animals. This will also help the people who rely on them.
In disasters, animals experience stress and shock, get hurt or fall ill. Injuries are caused by flying debris, and illnesses are brought on by the inhalation of water, and exposure to disease.
Working with governments and vets
Our experts in the Caribbean will be:
- working with local governments and veterinarians. They are ready to provide immediate assistance to injured animals with veterinary care, shelter and feed,
- providing emergency vet kits, including treatments for diarrhoea, pneumonia and other diseases, transmitted easily after disasters,
- assessing the longer-term needs of animals in partnership with the governments of affected states.
A boy rounds up his chickens into his house in the neighborhood of Aviation, in Cap-Haitian on 7th September 2017, before the arrival of Hurricane Irma. Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Near total devastation
The world has not seen a storm with sustained winds of this speed since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines in 2013.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda described the devastation as "near total" and estimated upward of 95% of the structures on the island are damaged or destroyed.
"We are very concerned for the animals who are often forgotten victims of disasters. Our teams are on the way to protect them," said Steven Clegg, our international response manager said:
"Initial reports of damage in places like Barbuda are staggering. This is a storm like virtually no other."
A home flattened by Hurricane Irma lies in a pile in Nagua, Dominican Republic, 7th September 2017. Credit: Rex Shutterstock
A critical time
The coming days are critical for the people who rely on their animals to make ends meet. If their animals die, their hopes of rebuilding their lives will perish too. As the recovery process begins, saving animals will help provide stability for their future.
More updates to follow.
Please note: The top image was taken after Hurricane Jova hit Mexico in 2011. Photo credit: World Animal Protection/Oscar Navarrete.