Protecting wildlife from harm

The world’s attention turned to Australia in the spring of 2019 as catastrophic fires tore through the country. The fires raged over the ensuing months in what’s come to be known as the ‘Black Summer’ and lives, properties and billions of animals were lost in the most horrific bushfire conditions.

Adam from Humane Society International rescuing a koala Kangaroo Island
Black Summer bushfires ravaged Kangaroo Island and sadly thousands of koalas, kangaroos and other animals were lost in the flames. Here, Adam from HSI tends to a rescued koala.


During the worst of it, HSI Australia’s CEO, Erica Martin, and Evan Quartermain, Head of Programs, made a deployment to Kangaroo Island along with international experts from HSI global. The devastation was immense. 

Those were some of the toughest scenes I’d ever witnessed as an animal rescuer: the bodies of charred animals as far as the eye can see. Every time we found an animal alive it felt like a miracle.” -Evan Quartermain

As a result of our first-hand experiences on Kangaroo Island, we commissioned an independent report to review the rescue and care of wildlife by organisations and individuals in the bushfires. The aim of the report was to review disaster response across the country for wildlife so we can improve on preparedness for all future events, be it fire, flood or cyclone. 

Unfortunately, because of the impacts of climate change, we know that we are going to face an increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters like the Black Summer fires, floods and cyclones. Humane Society International has decades of experience in emergency search and rescue for animals impacted by natural and catastrophic disasters. Our work stretches beyond Australia to assist animals when disaster strikes. 


Rescuing amid the rubble in Nepal

Humane Society International vet rescues a small dog from rubble in Nepal following the 2015 earthquakes
A Humane Society International vet cares for a small dog amid the rubble in Nepal following the 2015 earthquakes.

We were there in 2015 when earthquakes shattered so many fragile mountain towns of Nepal. Our teams helped rescue livestock from beneath the rubble and provide treatment to help heal the terrible wounds. In one village our team encountered Mrs Purnima Tamang sheltering in what was left of her home with her eight goats. Our team was able to treat her goats and assist with vital food and shelter.

“Call them what you want—my property, my family, my friends—they are all I have left.” -Mrs Purnima Tamang

Saving family pets in Lebanon

After the 2020 Beirut explosion, our international disaster team was quickly on the scene. They worked with Animals Lebanon to scour the blast zone to rescue dogs and cats and when possible to reunite them with their owners. Many of the animals were injured and in dire need of medical help. In some cases, their owners were unable to take them immediately because they were injured and have lost their homes, so it is such a relief for them to know their beloved pets are getting cared for as well.

Salvaging survivors in Mozambique

Kelly from Humane Society International responds in Bandua Mozambique Cyclone Idai April 2019 helping recue goats and calves in the aftermath of disaster.

In 2019, we hit the ground in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai—the worst tropical cyclone ever experienced in Africa—devastated the country. The team treated pigs, goats and puppies helping them get back on their feet and preventing disease outbreaks. Our team also heard heartbreaking stories, including one farmer who watched hopelessly as two sons were swept away. Despite his monumental grief, he still expressed gratitude for our team’s help with his calf which had miraculously survived.

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Rapid response to help the animal victims of floods

Rapid response to help the animal victims of floods

Flood-impacted wildlife carers and sanctuaries in Northern NSW and QLD have received more than $40,000 in recovery grants from conservation and animal welfare organisation Humane Society International (HSI) during the weeks following March’s severe…

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Koala endangered listing is a grim but important decision

Koala endangered listing is a grim but important decision

The decision to list koalas as an endangered species on Australia’s east coast is a grim but important outcome that requires urgent action, according to animal welfare and conservation groups. Today’s announcement by Environment…

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Federal government announces $50 million to protect koalas

Federal government announces $50 million to protect koalas

The federal government has announced on Saturday that it will allocate $50 million in funding for koala habitat protection and recovery. The news is welcomed by conservation group Humane Society International (HSI), who has…

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