Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boots On The Ground ~ Haiti

It has been an impossible week for me. I can't seem to concentrate on anything else but the horrors of Haiti.
My mind is full of all the conversations I have had with other disaster responders about all the obstacles that must be overcome inorder to get the veterinarians, supplies and rescue volunteers into the country to start their critical mission. Hearing about the large after shock yesterday morning was unbearable. How many more ?     I'm hoping because animals have a sense of impending disaster, any who were inside structures were able to get out earlier and their human owners followed them to a safer place.

Today, it became official.

WSPA, IFAW, HSUS & all the co-partners in the newly formed ARCH group arrived in Haiti.

All the links to their very informative websites with updates, are listed on previous posts, below.

Helping the animals of Haiti will also help the people of Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake.

Veterinary needs are innumerable in a country where animals are greatly needed and prized for transportation and food.

As a poor 3rd world country, most Haitians depend on their livestock, poultry and small stock to survive.    Meat, milk, cheese and eggs nourish their families as well as bring in some income from the sale of their surplus products. Just one goat can make a big difference in the lives of one family. As in the USA, Haitian farmers depend on their animals for their entire livelihood. Farm animals are this countries lifeblood and in great part a means of survival. Providing care for the people's livestock is a great service to them. Some of these people may only have a goat or a pig that they will sell at market. These animals become extremely valuable.
Injured livestock must be attended to, rounded up, vaccinated and treated so they may continue to support their owners financially and nutritionally.  Domestic pets must also be vaccinated, as a major outbreak of rabies is predicted, which would further hinder the progress that any responders and emergency workers will be able to make and further endanger any disaster teams presently in Haiti.     Rabies is deadly.  There is already a laundry list of horrible contagious diseases in Haiti, with many expected to increase because of the present situation.  A mostly homeless dog population, struggling to survive before the earthquake, need comforting hands now.

Aiding the animals in Haiti will also aid the health and well-being of the people of Haiti. The two are interwoven, as they are in any disaster of this magnitude.

Replacing all the livestock killed and injured, will be a huge task.

Fortunately, Heifer International has had ongoing projects in Haiti for many years.

"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.
Show a man how to fish and he can feed himself and others."

This is the philosophy of Heifer International, an organization that provides livestock, seeds, plants, bees and other food bearing gifts to Haitian families so they can feed themselves and support their families with income from the surplus products.

This is a practical way to help. Read more at:


  1. My favorite charity and this will be the start for many of the survivors. Such a great post!
    PS I blogged about you the other day...

  2. Hi Janis, Thanks for your informative blog helping folks become familiar with Heifer. I'm an Area Volunteer Coordinator for Heifer in Illinois. I've seen our projects in action in Poland, Republic of Czech, the Phillipine Islands, Honduras and here in Illinois. It's amazing what the gift of chickens, or honeybees, for the price of one of our meals in a restaurant, can do to help a family out of poverty. I'm an animal shelter supporter, have a certified Wildlife Habitat for a yard, and enjoy photography. Love your slideshow. Wish I had the time and patience to do this kind of blogging.