HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL READY TO RESPOND TO MEXICO CITY EARTHQUAKE
September 21, 2017
Veterinary team is returning from animal rescue mission in Oaxaca State where it treated more than 1,300 animals
MEXICO CITY – Humane Society International stands ready and is assessing animal needs to respond to the devastation caused by yesterday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake that has killed more than 200 people in Mexico City, Morelos and Puebla. The organisation’s veterinarians are now returning to Mexico City, having spent the last five days in Juchitán in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, providing emergency animal rescue and treatment following the devastation left by the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the country less than two weeks ago.
Dr. Claudia Edwards, DVM, program director of Humane Society International/Mexico, said: “Many parts of Mexico City, Morelos and Puebla are devastated and we know the humanitarian and animal needs here will be immense. We ask people to please stay with their pets. If you evacuate, please take them with you. If you see an animal in danger, please contact the local authorities. We are working with local animal groups and government to assess the animal needs and will respond as soon as we’re able to – keeping in mind that the focus of the government right now is on the response to human safety.”
Edwards just returned from Juchitan, where she led Humane Society International/Mexico’s veterinary team in response to the deadly earthquake that severely affected the States of Oaxaca and Chiapas, in the southern part of the country. That earthquake killed more than 90 people and destroyed thousands of homes, in a region heavily affected by natural disasters and complex economic problems, and where animals are, in many cases, all that people who have lost their homes and family members have left. Humane Society International’s team set up an emergency clinic and provided treatment for 1,350 animals, mainly cats and dogs. The operation was conducted in coordination with local organisations Defensoría Annimal and Topos K9.
Edwards said: “I was very touched to see how people really care about their animals. Hundreds showed up from afar to be able to cure their animals’ wounds or provide treatment to them. They even extended their compassion to stray dogs in the area, who were brought along with pets. Many people offered to help by cleaning the clinic and helping spread the word about us being there.”
One of these stray dogs was Juchito, who was severely wounded and had bone exposure. He was spotted by a local youth and brought to the clinic, after having spent days in a nearby street without any help. After an initial assessment and emergency treatment, Humane Society International’s veterinarian sent Juchito to Oaxaca City, the capital of the state, for additional treatment. His health has stabilised.
The shortage of veterinarians and supplies available in Juchitán prompted Humane Society International to set up the clinic and bring in supplies. Humane Society International/Mexico also helped distribute more than seven tons of animal food collected under the platform Ayudemos a México, which helped reach more than 2,000 animals.