The entire population of 1,800 on the Island of Barbuda has been evacuated to Antiqua, but the most vulnerable have been left to struggle behind. Days after Hurricane Irma destroyed homes and lives, the hasty exodus left behind cats, dogs, horses and herds of farm animals – no food or water in sight for these poor souls to survive.
According to Time, a few trucks driven by volunteer organizations, having been trying to help. More than a 100 hungry dogs, feared to resorting to acting feral because they are so hungry, jumped at the food being thrown their way.
The Category 5 storm destroyed the island – no more palm fronds, wrecked homes, roofs collapsed and an island in crisis waiting for government intervention to prevent the rampant spread of disease like Zika or typhoid keeps local citizens from trying to rebuild their island comprised of 62-square miles. Officials hesitate to allow residents back onto the island.
Sadly, without their owners, the dogs are starving to death. Karen Corbin, the President of the Antiqua and Barbuda Humane Society states the feral dogs will eventually attack horses, goats and other farm animals to survive. World Animal Protection has teamed up with Corbin to help.
“Barbuda was completely destroyed,” Karen says. “All the people were evacuated to Antigua and the animals are alone. There are dead animals everywhere and the smell is overpowering. I saw dogs and pigs starting to act feral and threaten other animals.”
“I saw a lot of baby goats and sheep and they are foraging along with horses and donkeys what little grass is left. I’m worried that the dogs and even pigs will start hunting or harassing the farm animals. We need to get in there and separate the dogs first – put them somewhere as a temporary shelter and feed them.
“Then we need to think of how to help the farm livestock, whether it’s food, emergency veterinary care or shelter. This is a long-term project – the animal needs cannot be overstated.”
Meanwhile volunteers have been walking through the island trying to help residents who were forced to evacuate without their companions reunite pets and parents.
“Our team has been driving around Barbuda giving abandoned, needy animals food and water.
We took Ivory the dog, Irma the kitten, and Tiger the cat to Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, where they’ll be safe and able to recover.
Some evacuated pet owners gave a list of names of the animals’ they wanted us to find. Ivory the dog is one of these, so he’ll soon be reunited with his family. Others will eventually be rehomed.”
Check out some of the rescue stories on the organization’s Facebook page. There are heroes everywhere. Stop by their page and thank them for helping if you get a chance.
Your support could help save scared and starving animals in Barbuda and other hurricane-ravaged islands. It’s a race against the clock but, together, we can help them through the worst. Click here to Donate now.
(Photos of animals struggle to survive via Facebook and World Animal Protection)
Our team has been driving around Barbuda giving abandoned, needy animals food and water. We took Ivory the dog, Irma the kitten, and Tiger the cat to Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, where they’ll be safe and able to recover. Some evacuated pet owners gave a list of names of the animals they wanted us to find. Ivory the dog was one of the animals we found, so he’ll soon be reunited with his family. Others will eventually be rehomed. #HurricaneIrma
Posted by World Animal Protection on Friday, September 15, 2017
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