(EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE) Today, less than three weeks after a mammoth earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 8,000 people, the country witnessed another devastating 7.2-magnitude quake with dozens of deaths and more than a thousand injuries reported.

Along with the thousand of lives directly affected by both disasters, many animals have also been left injured and abandoned in their wake. In response, a number of animal rescue organizations are stepping in to help those animals in need.

Photo Credit: Humane Society International
Humane Society International is supporting local animal welfare groups on the ground to reach animals in need. Photo Credit: Humane Society International

The Humane Society International’s Veterinary Medical and Animal Rescue Teams are working hard in Nepal since the first tragic 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25.

HSI is working with many organizations such as Animal Welfare Network Nepal in Kathmandu to provide life-saving veterinary medicines, vaccinations, and surgical equipment, while also providing shelter for each sick, injured, lost, and abandoned animals.

Animals are still struggling in the aftermath of the first Nepalese quake. Many animals were trapped inside collapsed buildings or hit by falling debris, and thousands of animals were crushed or buried alive.

Humane Society International staff give veterinary attention to a goat after the earthquake in Nepal. Photograph: Thomas Kelly/Humane Society International
HSI staff give veterinary attention to a goat after the first earthquake struck Nepal on April 25. Photo Credit: Thomas Kelly/Humane Society International

“There is complete devastation in many areas for people and animals alike, and we’re helping both,” Rahul Sehgal, director of HSI Asia said. “For many people, their animals are all they have left, so HSI’s animal aid is a vital lifeline.”

Adam Parascandola with an orphaned baby goat in Kalitaar, a small village outside Kathmandu that was severely damaged by the earthquake. Photograph: Jodi Hilton/Humane Society International
HSI volunteer Adam Parascandola holds an orphaned baby goat in Kalitaar, a small village outside Kathmandu. Photo Credit: Jodi Hilton/Humane Society International

Sehgal continued: “…the team has visited several affected areas where the surviving animals are living in stressful conditions, often exposed to the elements and in need of basic veterinary care and medicines. We are attempting to locate a facility to serve as a temporary shelter for animals who have been left behind as well as for animals in critical need as assessed by the team. We also helped a man who was  singlehandedly trying to clear out the rubble of his home so that he could retrieve whatever worldly possessions he had left. Compassion doesn’t care if you have two legs or four.”

Sengden village, a remote village outside of Kathmandu, suffered a catastrophic loss. Approximately 85 percent of the houses were leveled, causing people and animals to live in makeshift tents outside of what once was their home.

Many Nepalese families depend on animals for their livelihoods as well as for companionship. One woman encountered by HSI’s team, Purnima Tamang, was all alone and without family, except for her flock of eight goats she absolutely refused to leave behind.

“Call them what you want – my property, my family, my friends, they are all I have left,” she told HSI’s rescue team.

Photo Credit Jodi Hilton/Humane Society International
Two girls hold a family goat in Pahade Thapa Gaon, an agricultural village outside Katmandu. Photo Credit: Jodi Hilton/Humane Society International

These animals are in a desperate state with many suffering from cuts and lacerations, starvation, respiratory stress, and life-threatening diseases. In every village HSI has visited, animals are also getting sick from exposure to heavy rain. While many animals are too sick to eat, others are without access to food and clean water.

One complicating factor in HSI’s efforts to rescue suffering animals is that most villages in Nepal are remote and can only be accessed by mountainous dirt roads. Despite this challenge, HSI’s veterinary team have been the first responders to provide aid to a number of remote villages.

HSI continues to work tirelessly to ease the suffering of Nepal’s animal and human victims alike, and donations are urgently needed for their lifesaving efforts.

Global Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that funds emergency animal rescue worldwide, is collecting donations to disperse between Humane Society International (HSI) and Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) to help with medical costs for injured animals, boarding and food, and reuniting lost pets with their guardians. Please consider supporting the efforts on the ground to save animals in critical peril.

Your compassion in action and support of Global Animal Foundation can help save the lives of animals in crisis.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these deadly earthquakes, and our appreciation and gratitude goes out to the countless volunteers who have donated their time and finances to help.

— Sabrina Clinkenbeard, exclusive to Global Animal