Vets visit northern Cebu to give animals ‘humanitarian’ care
As a long line of aid convoys jammed northern Cebu to bring food, water and medical care to people affected by the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda, five veterinarians likewise joined the throng with a mission to care for the animals that also need “humanitarian” comfort.
The vets from the Humane Society International (HSI) hopped on a van packed full with medicines, vaccines, dog food and pet knick-knacks and motored to the towns of Madridejos, Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Tabogon over the weekend.
Rahul Sehgal , Asia Director of HSI, told Cebu Daily News that their aim is to rescue animals during calamities or when disaster strikes.
The HSI is a US-based organization which aims to protect, give relief and rescue animals during disasters.
They have been in the Philippines for four years. They first sprung into action when powerful typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) struck Luzon in September 2009. The team also responded after an earthquake struck Bohol last month.
Sehgal said a veterinary team also set off to Tacloban and other parts of Eastern Visayas to conduct “animal relief and rescue.”
“We assess what we can do and understand what are also the needs of the animals like food and shelter,” he added.
The vets immediately sprang into action as the team reached Madridejos at 10 a.m. Friday.
The animal doctors approached stray and pet dogs alike and examined their well-being. The animals were injected with vaccines and antibiotics and were given vitamins. Pet owners were also given advice on how to care properly for their dogs.
The vets also distributed dog food, bowls, leashes and collars as well as bottles of water.
The group also visited poultry farms and piggeries in Madridejos.
Shelters in northern Cebu were mostly destroyed leaving the animals that survived the typhoon exposed to the elements.
Dr. Alice Utlang told Cebu Daily News that the long hours of exposure to heat might cause dehydration and even death.
Sehgal said they will continue to conduct animal rescue in other towns in the coming days.
“North Cebu was also greatly affected by the typhoon. Most of the relief was focused in Tacloban. Northern Cebu needs attention too,” she added. /Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Correspondent
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