Rescuers in typhoon-hit Taiwan to help stranded dogs

Monday, August 17, 2009
(Taiwan – August 17, 2009) – Rescuers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have been mobilised to Taiwan to assist in animal rescue efforts following the devastating typhoon that slammed into the island last week.

IFAW is responding to a plea 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.

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

Typhoon Morakot dumped a record 120 inches (three metres) 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 causing the worst flooding in the area in half a century.

Incredible human and animal survival stories have already begun to emerge from the disaster zone, with dogs being hailed as saviours in the tragedy. Villagers have given media accounts of dogs leading people to safety on higher ground as a mountain crumbled.

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