As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in Tacloban City alone when one of the worst storms on record sent giant sea waves washing away homes, schools and airport buildings. Hundreds of bodies have been recovered while thousands remained missing in the wake of the enormous devastation left by Super Typhoon Haiyan. In Tacloban, men, women and children tread carefully over splintered remains of wooden houses, searching for missing loved ones and belongings. Not one building seems to have escaped damage in the city of 220,000 people, the coastal capital of Leyte province, about 580 km southeast of Manila. (PRNewsFoto/Plan International, Hatai Limprayoonyong/Plan staff, courtesy PR Newswire)
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Typhoon Haiyan struck across the South Sea islands, but the Philippines was no doubt hit the hardest, especially the area around the Island of Cebu which had experienced a magnitude 7.2 earthquake only three weeks ago. Even before it began its destructive swing across this area the storm was named one of the strongest ever recorded. Aid is finally getting to these island communities, and news of the destruction and increasing number of deaths is emerging from this devastated landscape.
Residents of the Philippines love their pets, areas of the country are very rural and many families keep livestock, and as an island habitat it’s home to many wild creatures. Animals of all species were affected by the storm on land and sea and are suffering along with the island people as their homes and food sources were destroyed and many were left injured.
As the main airport is finally able to land relief planes aid is finally reaching urban areas and trickling out into the countryside. The process will take time and donations of money and goods from all around the world are needed to help rescue people and animals, and rebuild in the coming months and years.
I received information from Humane Society International about their relief efforts after I published this article and have edited the paragraph immediately below and added their information as well.
Four main organizations are leading with rescue for animals, and along with those rescuing and feeding people you can follow their efforts and donate as you see fit. Note that the storm is also called Typhoon Yolanda locally in the Philippines, though its worldwide name is still Haiyan.
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Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
PAWS is a registered non-profit organization which is dedicated to the protection and the promotion of humane treatment of all animals. The volunteer-based organization runs an animal shelter called “PARC” (PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center) in Quezon City that currently houses 49 dogs and 227 cats rescued from cruelty or neglect—this shelter was undamaged in the storm. The PAWS shelter serves as an animal-welfare information center and a low-cost spay-neuter clinic, and even in the midst of the devastation 64 stray and feral cats were spayed and neutered in the organization’s TNR program by the shelter’s veterinarian on November 13. In addition to a TNR program PAWS also campaigns actively against dogfights, horse fights and against wild animals being used for entertainment.
Their website has very detailed and helpful information for how to donate directly to them through cash transfer to their bank or through PayPal in a post dedicated to Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, PAWS helps human and animal victims of typhoon Yolanda, and you can also follow posts on their Facebook page, which has many images from adoption events and their TNR clinics, and you can even see the helpful post they added concerning how to prepare for an emergency with your pets as the typhoon was approaching.
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International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
IFAW was founded in 1969 to cross borders to help wildlife, farm animals and pets all over the world to both give hands-on rescue and care and to advocate for the safe keeping and humane care of animals.
IFAW both works on their own and also with established animal welfare organizations in any effort, sensitive to the needs of both the animals and the people involved. At the time of emergencies they partner with established local organizations to bring aid and assistance where a disaster has occurred.
They are working right alongside PAWS to bring aid to the animals living without food and shelter after in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan and were the first animal aid organization to enter the area and report back.
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World Vets develops, implements and manages international veterinary and disaster relief programs to help animals, educate people and have a positive impact on communities. Over 3,600 veterinary professionals volunteer every year to provide health care to animals and respond to emergencies worldwide.
They regularly visit the Philippines on a volunteer basis and have mobilized to send assistance to their partners bringing aid in the areas devastated by the storm. A donation for this effort will help them with the rescue effort, and a general donation will help them with all their programs. You can also visit this post on Pawcurious by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang who regularly volunteers with their programs and offers an detailed infographic showing what a donation pays for.
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Humane Society International
Humane Society International (HSI) promotes a culture of compassion for all animals through the human-animal bond. They not only arrive at disasters for relief and rescue of pets, livestock and wildlife, they also advocate for humane treatment of all animals, on farms, in laboratories, in shelters and at the hands of people everywhere.
HSI has been able to land in the hardest-hit areas of the Philippines and distribute food, and will be returning for rescue. You can donate directly to their disaster services which includes their efforts in the Philippines and read about their activities and reports, and you can also visit the organization’s website to find out more about what they do.
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A donation to any of these organizations will directly assist the animals affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, and you’ll also be able to follow their efforts through social media. Even a small donation of $1.00 can feed an animal for a day.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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