Pakistan quake animal victims still need help
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2005:
KARACHI–More than two months after the devastating
earthquake of October 5, 2005, the arrival of winter has made the
plight of animals and displaced humans more desperate than ever in
the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
Snowstorms have meanwhile made delivering aid to the isolated
region more difficult than ever. More than 87,000 humans are known
to have been killed in the earthquake itself. Others, now living in
tents, have died from malnutrition and exposure. As many as 3.5
million people lost their homes. No statistics exist for the toll on
animals. Pastured livestock mostly survived the earthquake, but
thousands lost their caretakers. Refugees released the birds from
the Jalalabad Zoo in Muzaffarabad and moved into the cages, reported
Munir Ahmad of Associated Press.
“I would recommend sending donations to both the World
Society for the Protection of Animals and the Brooke Fund for
Animals,” Pakistan Animal Welfare Society representative Mahera Omar
relayed to ANIMAL PEOPLE through Seattle activist Eileen Weintraub.
“After their initial emergency response,” described in the November
2005 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, “both organizations have formulated
long term strategies and their veterinarians are in the field
providing veterinary care and arranging for shelter for the animal
“More than funds, however, personnel are required,” Omar
said, having spent two weeks in the earthquake zone with a film
crew. “There are simply not enough individuals in Pakistan who are
interested in animal welfare.”
While U.S.-based Pakistani veterinarian I.M. Kathio sent
relief aid, Omar said she did not “know of a single veterinarian in
this country who has organized any sort of relief program for the
animals, not even the four veterinary colleges, or the government
livestock department. This is most surprising,” she added, “since
most of the people in the rural areas affected by the earthquake
depend on animals for their survival.
“Given the current situation, I feel we must brace ourselves
for yet another crisis come summer,” Omar projected. “Most of the
livestock left out in the open will be gone, leaving the villagers
queing up for handouts.
“The only chance for the animals here,” Omar finished, “is
for more foreign organizations to come forward and help out.”
[Omar may be reached c/o <www.paws-pakistan.org> or