Saturday, January 16, 2010

Animal welfare in Haiti

It's been 4 days since the 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. TV news reports and scenes of the destruction, photographic and in print, are everywhere. It is horrible, almost unimaginable. It's also impossible to imagine how long it will take to bring Haiti back to even a semblance of normalcy (especially knowing that there, "normal" is not like "normal" here or in most parts of the world).

Not a word in 4 days about the animals of Haiti. What about farm animals? Companion animals? An earthquake hits and of course they can't read or listen to the radio and find out what happened. How do animals cope with a disaster?

Most likely, like many of the people there, they suffer injuries, starve and die. As little seems to be being done for humans, probably even less has been done for animals.

This catastrophe in Haiti has prompted memories of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and how, way later, it became known that the Red Cross had required people being rescued to leave their companion animals behind. Some of the homeless animals eventually rescued were adopted out to people all over after their original families could not be found.

Still later, as replays and second guessing continued, there was talk of how humans and their animal companions should be rescued and sheltered together. Is such a thing in the plans now, at least in the US? (Haiti's government and preparedness planning have sounded so deficient, that would probably be too much to ask for there. Another pity.)

Right now, nothing seems to be going right for any of Haiti's populations.

1 comment:

Yamilee said...

Hey, don't worry about the animals in Haiti, they will be just fine - the rats are finding plenty of food. The lizards are scurrying around as they always have. The chickens will go on eating roaches and whatever they have traditionally eaten. The cats will continue to eat mice and rats. The wild dogs, goats and pigs that have always eaten through piles of garbage will find plenty of garbage to eat, as always. And many animals will be happy to feast on the many human remains that are everywhere. Really, the animals will be just fine. Yes, a few pets will have been lost, boo hoo hoo, but I am sure that their owners will realize, in the greater scheme of things that includes probably 100,000 dead PEOPLE - at least 1% of the population - that the loss of a pet is insignificant. Well, except to privileged white people in the US who value animal life over humans.