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Disaster Relief      

‚ÄčEvery year, thousands of animals are affected by increasing numbers of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquake and drought, while others find themselves in crisis, without food, water and shelter following these events.

Wherever possible and with thanks to the wonderful support of our many members, HSI is able to provide Emergency Relief assistance to local non-governmental organisations working on the ground in affected areas to provide relief to wildlife, livestock and companion animals.

HSI responds to recent devastating natural disaster events


Hurricane Maria 2017

HSI’s Animal Rescue Team provided emergency care to animals in need and helped veterinary clinics get back up and running across mainland Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. HSUS and HSI veterinarians delivered approximately 70,000 pounds of humanitarian and animal aid supplies, including water, diapers, baby food, dog, cat, and equine food, and more, to the island’s residents. More than 1,200 animals were transported from shelters in Puerto Rico to more than 50 animal rescue organizations in the United States. HSI remains on the ground to help distribute supplies, provide life-saving vaccines and rescue animals in the aftermath of the hurricane. To read more about our disaster relief work Puerto Rico, visit our blog here.

Mexico Earthquakes 2017

Sadly Mexico suffered two major earthquakes in September 2017 in as many weeks. HSI/Mexico’s veterinary team responded 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. HSI’s team set up an emergency clinic and provided treatment for 1,350 animals, mainly cats and dogs.

Our HSI/Mexico team then rushed to Mexico City to provide rescue and relief efforts to animals affected by the second devastating earthquake that struck the region. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake tragically killed more than 300 people in Mexico City, Morelos and Puebla. Our team set up emergency clinics and provided care to 805 animals in Morelos State including dogs, cats, horses, and more. Read more about our disaster response in Mexico here.

Hurricane Irma 2017

Hurricane Irma was a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in Florida of the US in September 2017 and left devastation across the Caribbean. In the wake of the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands, HSI and H/3 Foundation deployed a veterinary team, with emergency animal supplies, to assist with animal rescue efforts on the ground and help evacuate displaced pets to safety.

Hurricane Harvey 2017

Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas in August of 2017. The HSUS/HSI responded with people and other resources before and after Hurricane Harvey swamped southeast Texas. Our Animal Rescue Team deployed and began searching house to house for animals in danger. We activated our national network of Emergency Placement Partners, and began conducting transports of animals from Texas in order to relieve the burden on oversubscribed shelters, so that we could free up space for surrendered or displaced animals. To read more on our disaster relief efforts in Texas, head to our blog here.

Hurricane Matthew 2016

We provided emergency animal rescue and treatment for animals in Haiti, following the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew. The HSI team set up emergency clinics and provided treatment for approximately 1,500 animals, including horses, cows, donkeys, cats, dogs, goats, sheep, pigs, mules, calves, and chickens.


Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART) have been working throughout Nepal since 2010 striving to create a place where animals are respected and cared for within their own community, and disease and distress are things of the past.  When Nepal was hit by the earthquake in April 2015 HART were one of the groups coordinating the rescue efforts on the ground, and meeting and transporting the Australian volunteer vets we sent. Click here to read the full after-action report of HSI's emergency response to the Nepal earthquake. 

In December 2016, HSI Australia was fortunate enough to interview Khageshwaar Sharma, the Director of the Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART) about the incredible disaster relief work they implement across the region. Click here to learn more.

Hurricane Sandy

November 2012 - As the mid-atlantic and northeast are hit by severe storm conditions, staff from the Humane Society of the United States have been helping animals throughout the region. To find out more, click here

Humane Society International stands ready to assist Haitians and their animals in the aftermath of tropical storm Isaac

August 2012 - As tropical storm isaac churns over Haiti, Humane Society International stands ready to help Haitians and thier companion and working animals. Isaac is expected to bring heavy rain to most of the country with maximum winds at 60 mph. To find out more, click here

Thailand Floods

2011 - As the worst floods in 50 years continue to wreak Havoc in Thailand, HSI's local partner, 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 Animalsto discuss coordination of a disaster assessment and involvement in a rescue operation already under way.

Read more about HSI's on ground efforts in Thailand. Click here.

Middle east conflict

2011  -Political unrest has been the primary state of affairs in many middle eastern countries, including Eygpt and Libya. Learn more.

HSI Japan Earthquake and tsunami response

March 2011 -In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami double-strike that battered Japan' s northern coast and set off a mounting toll of death and destruction, Humane Society International (HSI) and The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) have deployed disaster response staff to the island nation, and reached out to Japanese partner organisations involved with animal care and rescue to identify where and how best to provide emergency support and veterinary care.  Learn more.



February 2011  -  HSI has been on the ground trying to help as many injured and abandoned animals during the weeks of political unrest and protest in Egypt. Local animals, especially those used for working such as camels, horses and donkeys, have been significantly neglected as tourism has decreased and businesses are suffering. HSI is specifically focusing on the area near Saqqara, where locals say that tourism has slumped since late January and has left many with little income and resources to properly care for their animals.
HSI is now focusing on this region,and is working with five community stakeholders to ensure cooperation among the local animal owners with the planned feeding program. HSI, in conjunction with local animal care organisations, have been working to ensure animals affected are fed and cared for. One great success was HSI caring for a group of just under 100 camels who were found starving near the pyramids.


HSI Queensland floods and cyclone response 


February 2011  -  Now that the cyclone has moved through and the waters are receding, we at HSI are assessing the requests for assistance and the needs of the wildlife groups on the ground to see where help is needed and how we can be most effective. The following assistance has been provided and further support and donations can be made either to HSI for redistribution or to the individual programs directly  Learn more.

HSI GULf Coast OIl Spill response 

May 2010. One month after the explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico, oil continues to leak and impact surrounding wildlife and environments. With an already reported 600 species affected ' “ including the endangered Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, Brown Pelicans, Dolphins, Sperm Whales, Blue fin Tuna, shrimp, fish etc. ' “ and with many of these animals currently in their reproductive seasons, the risks are high for entire ecosystems.
The HSI team have been busy with efforts to strategically prepare for the emergency, and long term relief, responses needed for animals and environments affected by the oil spill. Learn more.

China: Assisting wildlife and affected communities' animals

On May 12 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit north of Chengdu, China, killing more than 40,000 people, injuring hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless. The earthquake has also had an untold impact on wildlife populations, with up to 1,600 wild pandas still missing including a number from the World famous, Wolong Panda Research Institute, located just 20 miles from the quake' s epicentre, while concern is also being raised for the thousands of companion animals and livestock in the affected area. HSI is offering aid in the form of grants to support the Wolong Panda Research Institute (where hundreds of pandas are missing) and to assist in the humane management of dog populations in areas affected by the earthquake. To learn more about HSI' s efforts click here

Myanmar: Devastation for people and animals

Cyclone Nargis plowed through Myanmar on May 3, killing thousands of people and leaving many more homeless. Few reports on the cyclone's effects on animals in the country have emerged, but we are certain wildlife, companion animals, and farm animals are -- like the people of Myanmar -- in dire need of assistance. HSI's India office has a disaster response team standing by, waiting for admittance to the country. As soon as we are permitted, HSI will provide veterinary care, food, and water to the animals who play such an important role in the lives of Myanmar's residents. We will post further information about HSI' s efforts to assist with these efforts as soon as we are able.

Chile: Animals left behind as people are forced to flee eruption

Since the initial eruption of the Chaiten volcano on May 2, HSI has kept in close contact with Chilean animal welfare organisations about the condition of animals in the region. The evacuation forced residents to leave behind thousands of companion and farm animals who have to fend for themselves. HSI disaster responders have been on the ground working with the government, local officials, and groups to provide food, shelter, and veterinary care to these animals. To learn more about what HSI is doing to help click here.

Past disaster relief efforts HSI has been involved with include:

Hurricane Katrina
Indian Floods
Asian Tsunami
Donkeys in Sudan


Web: AndreasLustig.com