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Thailand Floods      


thailand floods

HSI disaster response team helping with on the ground animal rescue operations

As the worst floods in 50 years continue to wreak havoc in Thailand, HSI's local partner, the Soi Dog Foundation, contacted us with a plea for help. Quickly, we arranged for emergency funding to buy much-needed supplies and sent in a disaster response team led by Rahul Sehgal, director of HSI India.

The HSI disaster response team, including Sehgal and HSI vets Dr. Del Napoles and Dr. Patel, arrived in Bangkok, equipped with nets, trauma kits and an inflatable raft in preparation for finding and treating stranded or injured animals. There, they met with representatives of the Soi Dog Foundation and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to discuss coordination of a disaster assessment and involvement in a rescue operation already underway.

The HSI team is on the ground helping to guide the local shelters in the proper care of rescued animals during and post-disaster, and working on the following actions -

Thai Watana Panich (TWP) Shelter (Muang District, Bangkok)
Nov. 11, 2011

After meeting with other animal protection groups, rescuing dogs, helping with food delivery, and visiting wildlife shelters set up in the wake of the floods currently impacting Thailand, the HSI disaster response team began work at the TWP Shelter in Muang District near Bangkok.

The TWP coalition, having established the shelter almost overnight, has already rescued close to a hundred dogs, with the facility now being expanded to accommodate more animals.

Photo: Thai Watana Panich shelter, Bangkok (HSUS)

When the HSI team visited the shelter, set up originally by the Chiang Mai-based Elephant Nature Foundation, three other groups had chipped in with volunteers and other resources: Soi Cats and Dogs (SCAD), Pick A Pet 4 Home and Kinship Circle.  HSI's Rahul Sehgal and his colleagues promptly got to work helping to create a command structure, crucial for a team with so many different players.

Our suggestions were welcomed and procedures were quickly put into place: for example, each rescued dog treated at the shelter is given a number written on a red tie that goes around its neck and remains there for the duration of the animal's stay. This number and tie will help all shelter workers and volunteers to identify the animal and keep track of his medical history.

HSI's Dr. Del Napoles and Dr. Patel delivered veterinary care to the animals at the shelter. In just a day, nearly 40 dogs, many of them puppies, were vaccinated against parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, influenza, leptospirosis and rabies, thereby giving them not only temporary haven from the floods but also using the opportunity to secure their healthfor the long-term. Further, a few sick dogs in the shelter were identified, isolated and treated by the HSI vets.

The HSI team will spend the next few days at the TWP shelter providing supplies, veterinary attention, expertise regarding emergency shelter management structure and general guidance.

Photo: HSI team working at the TWP shelter (HSUS)
Update (Nov. 15, 2011) - The HSI team has been hard at work, vaccinating the rescued dogs and puppies and multitasking as engineers, installing tents and helping with the expansion of the facility. After HSI helped set up a command structure and sketched out a short-term plan to keep things running smoothly, the other members of the coalition began to feel less overwhelmed as they focused on specific, assigned duties. HSI vet Dr. Del Napoles supervised the clearing up of a small warehouse' the only enclosed location at the shelter, which was being used to stock food' to set it up as an operating theatre.  He and HSI's Dr. Patel implemented bio-security measures to avoid the spread of infection and viruses as the shelter continues to rescue more animals, irrespective of the state of their health. The shelter now has corrals to provide adequate space and light for the dogs throughout the day, and confinement has been separated into contagious and non-contagious areas.

Khow Kheow Zoo (Chonburi, Thailand)
Nov. 8, 2011

The HSI disaster response team was invited to visit Khow Kheow, where animals from the flood-affected Dusit Zoo, snake farms and other independent facilities are temporarily being housed.

HSI vets Dr. Del Napoles and Dr. Patel met with park officials to try to understand the situation and see if they could help in any way. The director of the zoo, Mr. Suriya, spoke to the team about the animals who had been evacuated from the other locations, along with a few that had been saved from the flood waters and were being treated at Khow Kheow's wildlife hospital.

Among the various evacuees moved to the park was a rescued monkey who sat cowering in a corner, bleeding from one eye. The HSI vets observed the animal for a while and discussed treatment and rehabilitation options with the Khow Kheow staff.

Photo: HSI team as Khow Kheow Zoo (HSUS)
We hope the animals at Khow Kheow will remain safe from the extreme conditions thatour team witnessed in the areas surrounding Bangkok. The head vet at the hospital, Dr. Arsaidhamakul, and consulting vet, Dr. Kongprom, spoke of limited resources and diminishing supplies due to the sudden, unexpected increase in the number of animal residents. The HSI vets also visited the hospital and discussed the treatment being administered to various animals and possibilities for future collaboration and support for rescue operations, if the situation worsens, with more animals being moved into the zoo.

Initiating on the ground efforts (Bangkok, Thailand)
Nov. 5, 2011

Upon arriving in Bangkok, the HSI disaster response team met with local partners, the Soi Dog Foundation, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to establish an initial assessment of what the HSI team on the ground can do to help.

The HSI team will use the information gleaned from their initial assessment to effectively deploy further aid, our first task being to create a disaster preparedness plan for an animal shelter currently threatened by flood waters.

HSI team leader and director of HSI India, Rahul Sehgal, and two HSI veterinarians arrived in Bangkok equipped with nets, trauma kits and an inflatable raft in preparation for finding and treating stranded or injured animals. There, they met with representatives of the Soi Dog Foundation and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to discuss coordination of a disaster assessment and involvement in a rescue operation already under way.

Photo: HSI team meeting with local and international organisations (HSUS)

How you can help

If you would like to help support HSI in efforts to rescue and care for animals in need in Thailand please follow the link through to our donation page.

HSI will continue to support local organisations in Thailand with which it has built relations with so that they can continue to help animals affected by the floods.

    Web: AndreasLustig.com