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In the early hours of the morning of 6 February 2023, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks hit southeastern Turkey and the northwest part of Syria, leveling entire towns, and killing thousands of people.
As humanitarian efforts began, we reached out to local organisations and authorities, ready to support those most in need.
We recently pledged an initial US$50,000 to launch our support for animal rescue efforts. On 10 February 2023, we proudly announced partnerships with Haytap, an animal rescue organisation in Turkey, and House of Cats Ernesto in northern Syria. Both organisations are working in communities that were among the hardest hit.
Haytap’s veterinarians and volunteer responders have set up an animal services tent in Antakya to treat animals rescued from the immense wreckage left by the earthquake. House of Cats Ernesto’s teams have focused on animal search and rescue, providing emergency veterinary care, and distributing animal food in impacted areas.
We are mobilizing more help and resources and are in contact with additional local animal organisations to deepen our support for this crisis.
At this time, IFAW has not deployed any staff or trained responders to Turkey or Syria. We have issued emergency grant funding to trusted local organisations working in the hardest-hit communities.
IFAW has launched initial support for this crisis but there is a years-long road to recovery for those impacted by this disaster. Please consider making a donation to support our work now and in the months and years to come.
Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will not send volunteers to affected communities for this crisis.
IFAW is supporting local partners in Turkey and Syria to quickly mobilise resources that will provide vital support for animals. IFAW has committed US$50,000 to support local organisations, including Haytap Animal Rights Federation in Turkey and House of Cats Ernesto in northern Syria, in their efforts to rescue and care for injured animals. We are mobilising more help and resources and will be responding to future requests for help.
Rescue teams will be working for the next few weeks and likely months. The road to recovery will be long. With your support, we can quickly provide relief to those that need it most now and in the months ahead.
For individual reports of injured animals, please try to locate animal shelters, veterinary clinics or animal rescue teams working closest to where the animal is reported. This will allow the animal to receive urgent help from organisations responding nearby. We plan to increase our support for this crisis and aim to help as many animals as we can.
House of Cats Ernesto will treat animals brought to their clinic for free and have asked for people who find injured animals to bring them to their clinic. They are open every day except Fridays.
For injured animals in Turkey that need help, the animal can be brought directly to one of Haytap’s four field clinics. Treatment is being offered free of charge.
Much like our work in Ukraine and other previous disasters, IFAW is committed to building resilience in communities impacted by disasters. The rescue and care of animals in crisis drives much of what we do after a disaster hits, but our goal is that the organisations and communities we partner with become more resilient to disasters throughout the time they work with us.