Saving animals in devastating Chennai, India floods


IFAW-Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) India Emergency Relief Network (ERN) Manager Radhika Bhagat recently filed this report. –SW


At least 347 people have lost their lives from the floods across southern India. Flood waters have crippled industry, damaged infrastructure, and disrupted daily life.

The impact on animals has been severe, especially on animals stranded in standing flood water (sometimes submerged up to their necks) for days.

The IFAW-WTI India ERN mobilized immediately to collaborate with our local partners in Chennai and Cuddalore. Working with our local partner in Chennai, People for Cattle India, we are utilizing a local hospital called Heart to Heart for the dogs and cats rescued from the affected areas. . Orphaned puppies and kittens are gaining strength at the hospital every day!  

Our mobile rescue and veterinary teams are providing relief to the most affected areas. Fodder, dog food and emergency medical supplies are in high demand. Stocks are damaged or destroyed from the flood waters, and we must act quickly to reach as many animals as possible. Flood-related injuries and disease are everywhere we look…animals suffering from dehydration, diarrhea, and other ailments from consuming contaminated water.

Throughout Chennai and Cuddalore your support has helped us feed and provide emergency medical care for more than 1,000 cattle, dogs, cats, goats, pigs and hens.

Flood waters have finally receded, but there is still much work to do. Collaborating with our humanitarian counterparts, we will continue to support animals and their owners as they rebuild their lives.


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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