Recently, the vast area of Andhra Pradesh was hit by overwhelming and devastating floods. At the outset of this tragedy we knew that VSPCA could not just sit by and let animals suffer. We have been incredibly busy and increasingly stressed trying to help as much as possible in the aftermath of this terrible flooding. This update is to inform you of our work. Your kind and generous donations are going directly towards VSPCA’s flood relief program. Even though the situation is worse than any we have faced in the past, we are well-trained to render vital and life-saving help. (Read more about our flood relief work and philosophy.)
This Indian national tragedy received little coverage worldwide. Please see this slideshow of the aftermath via The Hindu; also, this short video from CNN which shows the extent of the devastation.
The following update is from VSPCA founder and President Pradeep Nath regarding the October 2009 floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states.
- 18.30 lakh (almost 2 million) people affected
- 475 villages affected
- 83 Mandals affected
- over 60,00 cattle washed away
- 54,369 houses damaged
- 383,716 people displaced
- 243,656 people in relief camps
All of our present efforts are towards suffering animals that still have a chance for survival.
Since the 2004 Tsunami we have learned to work with the local animal welfare resources including hiring local labour. This also teaches the public how to help animals in these disasters. Our employment of local vets and assistant vets with government support (the Animal Husbandry department) changes the mindset of these personnel to help the animals. Where there is no local animal welfare help we send in our own teams.
In the Kurnool district where the effect is the greatest, we have developed three teams of four persons each along with the local groups.
Depending on the progress of relief efforts, we are send in more help if needed, or divert to other locations in more desperate need.
In areas where than are no animal welfare organizations we send in our own teams.
What do our teams do?
- For each team we hire a multipurpose vehicle.
- We cover at least two pre-designated villages per day.
- If we get enough support, we can create makeshift camps for animals that require more ongoing personal attention.
- Dogs and cats need food and water and injured ones will need medical treatment.
- Cattle need minerals and special feeds of green grass and vaccinations.
- We are reaching Kurnool town and 20 other villages. At all of these places there were cattle, dogs and cats all along the roads. How they survived up until now is incomprehensible.
- We are performing quick, but thorough checks for outbreaks of contagious diseases arising out of continually wet conditions to prevent potential epidemics.
- The situation in other districts such as Mahubnagar, Krishna and Viyawada continues to be alarming. We will need to stay and help continuously for at least three weeks to help stablize the health of surviving animals. Ongoing efforts may take months.
Unfortunately, one of our teams was attacked by people who wanted the food we were going to provide to the animals. Therefore, we have been distributing chapattis, breads and biscuits to people while simultaneously feeding the animals. Without proper electricity, and no drinking water, food procurement is immensely difficult with a very high price rise due to shortages.
With the stench of the dead and with muddy water everywhere, people are scared to return and thus we find it dificult to get hired labors to work, and less volunteers opting for this risk, but we are doing our best.
As a future challenge, there are 200 villages where the residents will need to be relocated permanently to higher ground due to ongoing risks to their flood damaged houses.
What have we done so far?
- Provided relief in 7 villages, and Mantralayam Town (Goshala)
- Fed and treated 3400 animals (cattle, dogs, cats, pigs, buffalo, goats, and horses)
Our priority goes out to street animals requiring treatment for injuries, malnutrition and dehydration. At the same time we help owned animals in distress and our help restores their owners’ faith not to abandon them! Our objective is to bridge the gap between humans and animals. This kind of disaster brings a feeling of togetherness to reach people through animal welfare. It does take a lot of time and desperate measures but this is our choice and a chance to prove that animals have a right to live and not a subject for human consumption.
We look forward to your generosity as we focus on mitigating the sufferings of the animals – wherever they are, whomever they are and however they are.
Pradeep Nath- Founder/President VSPCA
More photos and stories follow here…
This fellow lost his very good people who are still missing in the floods. Used to a life of comfort with all the love and affection, he had been looking for them for several days when he rescued him. We have asked the nearest animal welfare organisation (which is 100 kms away in Anantapur) to keep him until we can locate the remaining family members or we can find him another loving home.
|Wildlife needs help too, this tortoise just needed relocating back to a safe environment.||This poor fellow will lose his eye but with our medical care he will not lose his life.|
Our first team arrives with few supplies.
A few days later VSPCA is more prepared and the word is out so that farmers can receive life saving food for their cattle. Someone cares and that is VSPCA!
All above received help for injuries, malnutrition and dehydration.
Our VSPCA shelter in Visakhapatam itself and surrounding areas are coping and are safe! We are humbly grateful to all of you who have assisted us so far and care about animals and people even though we may be so far away. We pray that the worldwide conditions improve for all suffering beings.
Your kind donation of any amount will help – please donate!
volunteer for VSPCA outreach