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Franny Syufy

Animal Rescue Teams Headed for Haiti

By January 14, 2010

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Our hearts go out to all the victims of Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Haiti. Caring groups all over the world are mobilizing rescue efforts, and seeking donations to help survivors regain a semblance of normal life. CNN has published a list of reputable charitable groups for cash donations. Medical personnel is on the way; one group of North Texas doctors is leaving Friday to help a Haitian hospital which survived the quake, but is now "overloaded with patients." One of the most dangerous and difficult tasks in disasters such as this is searching for survivors who are still buried in rubble. Search and rescue dog teams have been dispatched from every corner of the world. This is exactly the kind of job these teams have trained for.

Help for Haitian Animals (Updated January 17th):

Thanks to KHOU.com in Houston, and my readers, the following groups are members of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) teams assembling to help the rescue of Haiti's animals, some with on-the-ground support, others with donations.

Although not listed specifically as a member of ARCH, Christian Veterinary Missions (CVM) has been working in Haiti for 30 years now. Its two veterinarians, Dr. Keith Flanagan, and Dr. Kelly Crowdis were in Port-au-Prince on the day of the earthquake and immediately started working to help families. Also, as of Wednesday, the HSUS is "Monitoring the Disaster in Haiti." The AVMA is also monitoring the situation to determine when and where veterinary teams may assist. AVMA explains on its web site:
As always with disasters like this, the humanitarian rescue efforts will be the focus in Haiti for the first week or so. However, veterinarians are on standby to assist with the tragedy.

Other than the three groups mentioned above, I have not found another other mention of relief efforts for the animals of Haiti. I encourage my readers to post comments with links to such news as it becomes available.

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January 15, 2010 at 10:43 am
(1) SS says:

Of course the poor people of Haiti need and deserve all the help that they can get, but so do the animals. Why do these need to be mutually exclusive? Why do the pets and horses, donkeys etc have to starve and be in pain for the next week with no care. Animal rescue organizations could work alongside the the human rescues without impeding their progress. They feel pain and fear, hunger and thirst just as we do…

January 15, 2010 at 10:58 am
(2) CL says:

That is so right. Animal need all the help they can get they can not speak for them selfs.
I plan to help the animals.

January 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(3) Franny Syufy says:

It’s easy for us to judge when we are not on the scene and have no idea of the kind of logistics involved. Since no one can predict the exact location of a big earthquake, nor the kind of damage which will ensue, it’s impossible to pre-plan transportation routes and suitable locations to set up the on-site rescue operations.

Even communication is affected by this earthquake. According to the WSPA Blog, “With most communications infrastructure down, it meant we had a long night waiting for information that beyond sketchy news reports.”

I personally think they’re doing a wonderful job, considering the circumstances.

January 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(4) Barbara says:

I just received an e-mail from Best Friends.
They are in the process of putting together
a list of animal rescue groups planning to
help animals in Haiti.

January 16, 2010 at 1:57 am
(5) Nora says:

Comment on Franny’s comment:
No,we don’t know the situation but why is that the human rescue is alredy in work? They have to deal with the same conditions than the animal rescuers will have to deal with. You know I have been so much money to all these organizations and every time when I bring up an issues or other people I know they never ever respond with a resulotion. They seem to have their own agenda but when you report animal issues to any of these local offices they do nothing and don’t even seem interested. If you bring the headoffice into to assist it goes nowhere again.
I don’t believe for one second that they could not be in Haiti alreay to use our money for what they are suppose to use it for.
Thank you for listening.

January 16, 2010 at 10:15 am
(6) Karen S S says:

Have dispared about the issue of animal rescue in Haiti also. People need to be helped imm. of course, but there has to be farms, etc. STRANGE-I did not see but 1 stray dog on ANY of the news coverage. I think the last 4 hurricanes have wiped put many of the animals.
Not familar with their culture & they may simply not have dogs or cats as pets. I actually am hoping that is the case.
YOU do no even see birds – just very odd!
Food animals were hopefully kept out in the country more distant from quake. Pray for the best for ALL of Haiti!

January 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm
(7) Anna @ Sunbear Squad says:

These are what I’ve found so far:
American Humane
Best Friends
Humane Society International (HSUS)
Kinship Circle
United Animal Nations

January 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm
(8) Franny Syufy says:

Thank you, Anna! I have those. However, unless you can provide a more current link, the HSUS is still monitoring the situation, as I reported originally. I found the Kinship Circle web site, but after checking many links there, I was only able to find one page, which was basically reporting the news. If you can provide another link showing direct or indirect (donations) action in Haiti, please post it. Thanks again!

January 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm
(9) Yakov Phillips says:

Another group that is part of ARCH is United Animal Nations:

January 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm
(10) Franny Syufy says:

Thanks, Yakov! I’ve added UAN.

January 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm
(11) JJL says:

In response to SS…

Because man has not evolved to that level yet—and nature continues to remind us of that–

Until ALL life is in high regard and respected by humans, humans will continue to suffer great tragedy–just a reminder from nature

January 17, 2010 at 11:39 am
(12) Faith says:

Best Friends Animal Society out of Kanab, Utah is mobilizing to go in to Haiti and help the animals there. They rescued thousands of animals in Katrina, Peru, War torn countries etc…..they are working with the coalition mentioned in your blog….

January 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm
(13) Mary says:

Just remember that these dogs and cats in general are not used to eating regular DOG/CAT FOOD like in the states. They usually eat table food left overs and whatever humans eat. They eat a lot of rice with whatever left overs are mixed in it, raw or cooked meat, flour products, lots of bread submerged in milk, etc. They will refuse to eat the especially processed dog/cat food. They don’t know what that is and will just look the other way. They might go much better for the WET food, though, not the dry food.

Hope this helps,


January 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(14) karen says:

Forget animal welfare orgs. in states and elsewhere.They won,t be in there for days and usually have to go thru so much redtape that one person going on their own with food is probably doing MORE directly for the animals.


January 18, 2010 at 9:07 am
(15) Naresh Kadyan, Representative of OIPA in India / Chairman, PFA Haryana says:

I am ready to go in person to help all animals over there in Haiti……May God bless them and departed soul rest in peace!!!!!!!!!

January 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(16) Veronica says:

It may be true that this animals are not used to processed dogs/cats food, but it depends on “how hungry they are”. My granny lives in a little town that is at 2 hours from the city, and being a little town it is full of strays dogs. When I go there to visit, with my dog, I always carry a big bag of food, if I offer a plate of “dog food” they literally devour it, and those animals are just used to eat leftovers. Believe me, whatever kind of food that you will offer to a hungry dog, he/she will eat it.

The problem is when there is a stray dog, that is probably not that much hungry and knows how and where to get the food he likes, he will refuse the processed one.

January 20, 2010 at 6:36 am
(17) Ann Milner says:


This small charity has sent a team who have experience in Afghanistan etc-worth supporting

January 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm
(18) Michelle says:

No animal organization has been able to enter Haiti to assess the situation. It’s upsetting to see so many US organizations asking for donations and stating that it’s currently being assessed when thats not the case. The shelter in the Dominion Republic havent even been able to enter Haiti. People need to ask questions prior to making donations.

January 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(19) Carol says:

My understanding is that Haiti does not even have animal shelters nor veterinary hospitals. Sounds like their human-’pet’ animal relationship may be different to ours.

January 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm
(20) Edil says:

When there is no food available people will eat anything that includes ,dogs cats and rats.you have to belive that this pasts years with 4 hurricanes hitting them thru the middle in just one year there was not too much left to eat.Just ask any man that has bee in a war torn country.
Many will not tell you the truth but I remember a veteran of World War II that was able to confide in me and the horrors he told me are pale to what you see in the movies .Theycoud even eat roaches ,lizards or anything they could get.Do remember the story of the people who had an aviation accident in South America and the resorted to canibalissm to live.And this is a real story,.Dont judge this people hashly they are just trying to suvive ,not even to live just to suvive.We must be compasionate with them,and we must try to get them out of this profund and dark cave that has been their lives lately.This are fine intelligent and artistic people that had been given a bad lot in life,they do really need our compassion and our help.

January 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm
(21) Mike says:


January 25, 2010 at 11:14 am
(22) virginia says:

i want to help animals in haiti –how can i be sure where my money will go ?

January 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm
(23) Sam says:

Animals are just like humans!
There is no reason why they are to be treated like they are nothing.
Help the animals.

February 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(24) Aron Grower says:

I find it totally shameful and poor journalism that none of the major newspapers/TV have covered the plight of injured and starving animals in Haiti. I’ve been to Haiti and I know. Are they afraid that a photo image of a bleeding/starved dog will divert money to stay only on the humans? This is grossly unfair and because of it I will only give my money to animals.
Please do whatever you can to have people send letters to the new York Times, HuffPo, CNN, WSJ, Washington Post to cover the need to help the animals in Haiti. Thank you.

January 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm
(25) Fran Condon says:

Your blog is over a year old, so I’m not sure if you (Franny)are up to date on the animal situation in Haiti since it was written. I was in Haiti for most of the month of November 2010; working with a Christian organization, setting up temporary portable health clinics all around Haiti; in tent cities, schools, an orphange, churches, etc… we were primarily in the Port au Prince area. At that time, I was absolutely horrified at the condition of all the many dogs we saw all over Haiti… they were all emaciated, and scrounging through garbage for food. I never in that month, saw anyone touch, pet or feed one of those dogs – they were ignored and neglected. Locals referred to all of them at “street dogs”. They broke my heart. If you took the time to give any dog a kind word, they would waggle right up to you and wait for another word of encouragement – they were submissive, but cautiously friendly. Every time we went to a given area, we saw a little cream colored long haired dog, who stayed around the children at the Salvation Army school on Delmas Street, who had mange, and had scratched himself raw and bleeding over over half of his body. He was friendly and sweet, even though he had to be suffering. I gave one of the administrators of the school, a Swiss gentleman, $50 and asked him to please find a vet to help that poor little dog, which he agreed to do. However, we ran into him a week or so later, and he said he hadn’t had time to do anything yet. We left the country shortly afterwards, so I never did find out if that little dog got help. I have been on the internet several times, looking for some animal rescue agency serving in Haiti, so I could contact directly to check on that one particular dog… Can you give me any information? Thank you. Fran Condon

January 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(26) Franny Syufy says:

Fran, bless you for your work in Haiti, and for your ongoing concern about that little dog. Although I write about cats, I do receive regular PR news about various dog stories. Just a few days ago I received a PR notice from the ASPCA about Haiti, however, it was about a grant, and not specifically about on-site work, other than mention of a mobile clinic. You might search for contact info for that clinic. However, since you saw that little dog around the Salvation Army school, IMO, that would be the logical place to start your search for information. I’m sorry, but it’s sort of like the old “needle in a haystack” situation, and I wish you the best of luck in your search.

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