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Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: Helping The Pets Of Haiti

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I have been following events in Haiti and sending in donations to several organizations whose work I respect to help with the terrible human suffering. But now I am thinking about the animals too. Are there a lot of animals in Haiti and is anyone helping them? Is there any way I can help with those efforts too?

Sandy

Dear Sandy,

We are so glad that you understand the interconnectedness of human and animal welfare, especially in such a difficult situation, and we applaud your efforts to respond to all these needs. While some may question any focus on animal welfare when human needs are so great, the reality is that animal welfare has a direct impact either positive or negative on the Haitian people.

There are an estimated 5 million head of livestock in the country (mostly goats), a large stray dog population, an untold number of companion animals and native wildlife all adversely affected by the earthquake. Dead and starving animals, even if you don’t care particularly about their suffering, pose a threat to human health and safety. The loss of the goat herds will impact the country’s already fragile economy and (quite frankly), the ability of the Haitian people to feed themselves in the long run. So helping these animals is not a waste of resources.

In the past few days, several organizations have joined forces to create the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), with the goal of raising funds to help animals in the earthquake-stricken country and to provide direct aid to animals once rescue teams can be assembled in Haiti.

ARCH now includes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, (IFAW), the World Society for the Protection of Animals, (WSPA) American Humane, Best Friends, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and Humane Society International.

A team of trained veterinary experts has arrived in Haiti to provide aid to animals affected by last week’s earthquake. They are working to assess what is needed to provide assistance to animals who may be injured or starving after last week’s earthquake, and laying the groundwork for bringing more resources into play where they are needed.

These field responders include a French-speaking veterinarian and a paramedic trained in disaster response and animal handling. The team is working with a group in the Dominican Republic, Veterinary Care & Human Services, Caribbean Project. The team will provide immediate animal care as it can, and also assess conditions for animals in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. As circumstances permit, the experts will also advise emergency and relief workers on extra steps they might take in the coming days to alleviate the suffering of animals while the work to help the island’s human population continues.

You can donate directly towards the animal welfare Haitian relief efforts by visiting IFAW or WSPA. Our thanks to you for your concern.

On a happier note, get yourself some warmth and love with a new snuggly pet at our next adoption day on Saturday, Frebruary 6^th from 11 to 2 pm at the Oswego YMCA Armory, 265 West First Street in Oswego. There will be kittens, cats and dogs for adoption, refreshments, treats for kids, and our mascots, Porky and Buddy will be on hand to meet you. It will be fun, and if you adopt a pet for your “Valentine” we’ll provide a special card to give with your bundle of love.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets. Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter