Committed long-term to Ecuador’s earthquake victims

Ecuador earthquake

Last night, two more earthquakes hit Ecuador, measuring 6.2 and 6.9. While human injuries are limited and there are no reported deaths, we are reminded that the nation is still reeling from the massive 7.8 earthquake two months ago when more than 650 people lost their lives and 17,000 more were injured, according to Ecuador’s emergency management authority.

More than 25,000 people are still in temporary shelters, many hoping against the odds that they will one day be able to return to their homes and rebuild.

Others have already moved on, knowing that since their home is gone, they will never go back.

Countless animals have lost their caretakers to death or abandonment, so household pets, backyard farm animals, even some captive wildlife, have all struggled these last two months.

READ: Responding to Ecuador’s earthquake

Our partner Darwin Animal Doctors (DAD) is partnering with local groups in Ecuador. Team members remain determined and strong in an unyielding recovery phase for thousands of injured, abandoned, and displaced animal victims throughout Pedernales and Canoa.

IFAW emergency relief grants are helping DAD and partners provide life-saving triage onsite, transport for advanced care out of danger, food, fresh water, and emotional support as shock begins to wear off. They are also committed to spay/neuter, vaccinate, transport and support for reuniting or re-homing for thousands of homeless animals.

Two dogs were recently brought to the makeshift shelter/clinic with injuries from the latest earthquake; one lost an eye and the other had a severe abdominal injury. Both dogs received emergency treatment and surgery in Quito before being transported back to their owners’ temporary shelter. Their owners had lost everything and yet they put their grief aside to find emergency care for their dogs.

Because they could not have paid for such care in such a difficult time, IFAW is honored to be able to help keep this family and many other families whole.

The two abandoned kittens pictured above were rushed into the clinic and immediately hand-fed, dewormed and stabilized. Dr. María Cristina Cely, DAD veterinarian, reports that “they were transferred to University of San Francisco Quito (USFQ) thanks to IFAW, and are receiving critical care there. Their names are Tiger and Dog!”

Re-homing is a growing priority as families realize they cannot take their pets with them to stay with family members or friends…many will never be able to return home. With tears in their eyes, people surrender their pets to our partners.

Pedernales and Canoa are facing years of recovery and these pets need a second chance out of the danger zone.

IFAW is proud to continue support for DAD and local partners to help 1,000 surrendered or abandoned pets with a second chance at a happy and healthy future.

We are also pleased to report that the howler monkey mentioned in my last report was quickly transported to the USFQ veterinary hospital where he received the best treatment possible.


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy