WATCH: Animal rescuers share experiences responding to Chile floods

This month I joined IFAW’s efforts to provide relief for thousands of animals stricken by the historic floods and mudslides in Northern Chile.

Tragically, many animals were caught by the flood and died.

But others are still with their families and they are for the most part able to feed them because dog and cat food is readily available at the moment.

We have had requests for food to be delivered to a horse, rabbits, chicken, ducks and even a hamster!

The IFAW-GAAP team did an excellent job and now local teams as well as the Municipality, College of Veterinarians and Animal Protection Groups will follow up on the needs and will shortly vaccinate and sterilize dogs and cats, and kick-start an adequate guardianship awareness campaign.

Related: Animal Rescue in Chile: Coping in Copiapó

On my last day there, we were able to deliver four tons of food plus water bottles that were sent from the College of Veterinarians all the way from the capital of Santiago.

We were so happy that this aid arrived, and we were blessed with the help of a local family that lent us a storage space close to the most damaged part of the city, Paipote.

The latest report from the field indicates that:

  • A total of 19 dog-feeding stations have been set-up around the affected areas of the city.
  • Teams delivered 12 more bags of dog food, 21 of cat food, 8 six-packs of water, replenished one of the distribution centers with dog and cat food, water, masks for the workers and 3 buckets of milk formula for puppies/kittens.
  • The Municipality has tended to about 2,500 animals to date and moved an additional 40 to their kennels.
  • The Municipality still needs more supplies for around 1,500 animals in desperate need of parasite treatment (internal and external), which we are looking into solving.

Chileans are certainly very kind people; I love their spirit of fraternity.

Everywhere, I found signs encouraging everyone to be strong (¡Fuerza Atacama!) and telling them they were not alone! Even the transportation truck with the supplies had these signs… I find that incredible!

Keep up the good work everyone!

--EF

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