Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti

The rescue and relief effort in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake in Haiti has been focused on humans in desperate need. Search and rescue dogs have been on the ground for the past week helping to locate survivors.

Sadly, every day it becomes more clear that the damage from this disaster will take a long time to overcome--years, not months. The animal population in Haiti will also reach a crisis point. Left unchecked, the already large stray dog population could quickly grow out of control, contributing to the spread of dangerous illnesses like rabies. The large domesticated goat population--as many as 5 million--are at risk as well.

There is already so much confusion in Haiti, and animal welfare folks do not want to make it worse. To ensure that any effort is coordinated, a number of animal welfare organizations have joined together to form the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH). The groups are currently working together to stage their effort nearby in the Dominican Republic, and plans to enter Haiti in the next 48 hours. They are assembling mobile clinics that will be able to provide vaccines, basic medical care, and food and water to animals in need--mostly dogs and goats, but I am sure they will come across other animals in desperate need.

If you are interested in making a donation, you can direct them to either of the ARCH lead partners:

For other updates, you can also check out the sites of other partners (who are also accepting donations on behalf of ACRH):
Humane Society International (Updates posted every few days)
Best Friends Animal Society (Includes information for those wishing to join the response team on site)

Updates are also available in the AnimalsInDisasters blog.

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