IFAW rushes animal rescue teams to Taiwan following Typhoon Morakot

Monday, August 17, 2009
Yarmouth Port, Mass.
Rescuers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) have mobilized to Taiwan to assist in animal rescue efforts following the devastating Typhoon that slammed into the island last week.

IFAW is responding to a cry for help by local groups currently working to save animals affected by the storm. Reports indicate that at least 10 animal shelters were damaged, leaving more than 1,000 dogs trapped by floods and more than 100 dogs drowned or missing.

“We need to move quickly,” said IFAW’s Dick Green, “Our fear is that more dogs will die if the shelters do not quickly receive relief supplies and help rebuild the shelters.”

Typhoon Morakot dumped a record 120 inches (3 meters) of rain on southern Taiwan over the weekend. Entire villages were submerged in water and mud and there are no clear estimates on the number of fatalities. Officials are describing Typhoon Morakot as the worst flooding in half a century.

Incredible human and animal survival stories have been reported. Local villager Huan Chin-bao interviewed this week by newswire AFP talked about witnessing a mountain crumbling in seconds burying half of his neighborhood. Huang said he and another 40 people were guided by his two dogs to higher ground. “The dogs are our saviors,” he said.

IFAW expects to find animal shelters need medical supplies, drinking water, dog food, and assistance rebuilding the dogs’ homes.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
As the world's leading animal welfare organization, IFAW works from its global headquarters in the United States and 16 country offices to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals by reducing the commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW works both on the ground and in the halls of government to safeguard wild and domestic animals and seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people. To learn how you can help, please visit www.ifaw.org

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