IFAW kickstarts vaccination campaign and food relief for animals in the Philippines
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), working alongside the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), has started a vaccination campaign for Typhoon-stricken animals in Leyte and Samar islands.
A team composed of IFAW and PAWS veterinarians, emergency responders and volunteers returned today to Tacloban. The animal rescuers are carrying anti-rabies vaccines, injectable vitamins, and antibiotics for close to 500 dogs, cats, and livestock. This is the first of several campaigns scheduled for the weeks ahead.
"After the rapid assessment we conducted in Tacloban, Basey, Palo and other devastated communities last week, we quickly realized that our number one priority is vaccinations and medical treatment," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Manager for Disasters. "These measures will save animal lives and ensure we minimize the risk of rabies, a zoonotic disease that could affect human survivors.
"According to the Philippines Department of Health, "257 rabies cases and 266,200 annual bites or rabies exposures were reported in 2010. The disease is regarded as a significant public health problem because it is one of the most acutely fatal infections and responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos annually.
"Vaccinated animals will receive a distinct collar indicating treatment. Owners will get pet food packets to help sustain animals during this time of scarcity.
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.