IFAW on the ground providing crucial assistance for displaced animals
Latest update: 20 February 2023
IFAW has deployed one of its disaster response experts, Animal Rescue Program Officer Robert Leach, to New Zealand to provide emergency support in the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle. The destruction caused by the cyclone and the subsequent earthquake is devastating and widespread.
IFAW has also provided emergency funding to local organisation Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) to set up evacuation shelters for all animals in need in the Hastings area. Dozens of animals including dogs, cats, chickens and even goldfish are being cared for at the shelter which has an onsite vet available as well. Robert has been caring for the many companion animals at the shelter and has been working with the onsite vet triaging new animals that come in.
Rescue efforts are still underway with the team rescuing cats from roof cavities, dogs from mud and floodwaters and goldfish from stormwater drains. However, amid the devastation, the team has witnessed many emotional reunions between pets and their owners. “It’s heartwarming to be able to reunite pets with their owners. It’s a great reminder of the importance of why we’re here,” Robert said.
The wider HUHA team has been working non-stop to rescue and transport animals, working with the community to collect and deliver supplies and donations, and providing shelter for rescued animals or those requiring temporary fostering for displaced families.
We send our thanks to the New Zealand government’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and Massey University’s Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT). We are so proud of the crucial work of this incredible team and are grateful that Rob was able to join them on the ground to help amid the devastation.
HUHA is working under the direction of the New Zealand government’s MPI in its rescue and recovery efforts with IFAW and other organisations including Massey University.
Stay tuned for more updates.
IFAW prepares to provide urgent support to local animal organisations
15 February 2023
Wild weather from ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle is significantly impacting the northern regions of New Zealand and a State of Emergency has been declared.
IFAW is working with, and providing emergency support to local animal welfare organisation Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) and the evacuation shelter the group has set-up in Hastings. HUHA is caring for pets of displaced families and anticipate more to come in.
Heavy rain and damaging winds have caused extensive damage and reports suggest that road infrastructure and houses have been destroyed by landslides and some communities have been completely isolated. More than 120,000 homes are without power, and residents are being warned to prepare to be without power for days to weeks.
Your support can help us prepare, and provide immediate aid whenever needed.