Brazil Disaster Relief - March 10, 2011 Update
Six weeks have passed since the cataclysmic flooding and mudslides in Brazil. In the warehouse-like emergency shelter in Teresopolis, in Rio de Janeiro, what is particularly striking is that the vast majority of animals - among hundreds - were companion animals, not strays as was the case after Chile's earthquake a year ago. Formerly loved and cared for, those in the shelter are now haunted by loss, living alone in a world they used to share with human families. Thanks to your donations, IDA has been able to contribute to the team of responders trying their best to care for these animals.
IDA has partnered with another animal protection organization, Kinship Circle, in response to this disaster. Amid continuing rains and mudslides, with an ever-growing fear that more flooding is imminent, IDA-Kinship Circle volunteers ease some of the heartbreak, terror, and confusion. Left outside the shelter was a rottweiler-pit bull mix, with her shiny coat and sparkling white teeth, whose spirit has deteriorated quickly. An elderly man, filled with despair, left a black chow mix at the shelter front gate and walked away, while the bewildered dog, straining on his leash, was desperate to join him.
There are the "drive-by drop-offs" left roped outside or in milk crates. There are the guardians who have lost everything and carry their beloved animals into the shelter because they can no longer care for them. IDA-Kinship rescuers are still bringing to the shelter dogs and cats from homes that were ripped apart. A pregnant black lab went into labor and was rushed to a separate warehouse reserved for medical procedures. On the same day, a dog died in the same building where the puppies were born.
Sadness permeates the Teresopolis shelter, but the ravages of such a catastrophe have stirred great heroism and extraordinary compassion. Adoptions abound. A Franciscan nun and monk order will take 15 dogs as soon as the roads reopen from flash flooding. Two Brazilian veterinarians from Sao Paulo University and responders from Canada have recently joined the volunteer team, as have Chilean veterinarians whom we assisted in Chile's earthquake last year.
Your donations to IDA's Animal Disaster Relief Fund allow us to act quickly wherever and whenever we can. Help us act now and in future disasters.
Please contribute as generously as you can. Without your support, our efforts in such disaster-ravaged areas as Brazil, New Orleans, Haiti, and Chile would not happen.
In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.
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