Yesterday, the “Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti” (ARCH) announced that they successfully met all objectives outlined in their agreement with the Haitian government to help animals in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year. This marks the completion of their work in Haiti:
“The overall aim of the relief effort was to improve animal welfare conditions, repair the country’s damaged veterinary capacity and have long-lasting impact for animals and people following the devastating earthquake of 2010. The completion of the objectives marks the end of the coalition’s work in Haiti.”
Following the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a number of animal welfare organizations joined forces to aid the animals affected by the tragedy. Formed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the coalition added other animal welfare organization around the world. The organizations that made up Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti include:
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Humane Association
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- In Defense of Animals
- American Veterinary Medical Foundation
- Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society
- United Animal Nations
- Kinship Circle
- One Voice
- Swiss Animal Protection
- Palo Alto Humane Society
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Finnish Federation for Animal Welfare Associations
- Animal Medical Care Foundation
- Petfinder.com Foundation
- Mayhew International
- Last Chance for Animals
Since the Coalition has met the objectives during their year of service in Haiti, the continuing efforts will fall on to the local government. According to a press release by Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti, after running operations for the past year, they will now step aside and let the Haitian government continue to address their animal needs through the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR). Goals met by the coalition in the past year included:
- Treated close to 68,000 animals including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. The clinic has serviced the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince as well as other quake-impacted areas like Carrefour and Leogane.
- Repaired veterinary infrastructure and supplies by helping rebuild the National Veterinary Laboratory, installed 12 solar-powered refrigeration units critical for animal vaccination storage, and trained veterinarians to deal with disaster situations in the future.
- Promoted pet care and animal welfare education by launching a public awareness campaign about disaster preparedness and health issues related to their livestock and pets and worked closely with MARNDR to include animal welfare in Haiti’s education curriculum for children ages 8-12.
- Protected the health of humans by vaccinating Haiti’s animal population against diseases like rabies and Newcastle’s disease, and treated animals for parasites and prevented the outbreak of diarrhea which would exacerbate the Cholera epidemic.
- Conducted the first of its animal population and attitudinal survey in Port-au-Prince that provides critical information on animal numbers, health-related data, and human-animal interaction.
To view a video of the relief efforts of the coalition that was made by Last Chance for Animals, click on the video link to the left of this article. You can also read the blog that chronicles the work done by the coalition here.
The Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti provides a wonderful example of how animal organizations that often compete for donations can band together for a common good. The Haitian government could not have accomplished these goals themselves following the earthquake, given the other devastation to their people, homes and businesses. Therefore, it was vital for animal welfare organizations outside of Haiti to step up and help – which they did in abundance!
What do you think of the work the coalition did to help the Haitian animals?
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Source: Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti