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Volunteers rescue over 1,500 animals after earthquakes in Turkiye

March 2, 2023 at 8:55 pm

A dog, named “Aleks”, is received a treatment after 22 days of being rescued from under the rubble following 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit multiple provinces of Turkiye including their trauma in Hatay, Turkiye on February 28, 2023. [Gökhan Balcı – Anadolu Agency]

Over 1,500 pets have been rescued, so far, since the twin earthquakes hit southern Turkiye, a non-profit organisation said Thursday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“More than three weeks after the deadly earthquake in Turkiye, the animal rescue team from Humane Society International is still finding dogs and cats alive in abandoned apartments, damaged buildings or wandering the streets,” the Humane Society International (HSI) said in a statement.

“The animal charity estimates that more than 1,500 animals―dogs, cats, rabbits, goldfish, a rooster, budgies, reptiles and more―have been brought to receive medical care at just the three main veterinary field clinics set up by local veterinarians and groups in the city of Antakya, where HSI’s team is working,” the statement added.

The organisation estimates that tens of thousands of animals across the country have perished.

HSI also said that most of the animals being rescued and provided medical care “have suffered cuts, bruises, infected wounds, infected eyes, dehydration, starvation and shock.”

“Unbelievably, despite most of these animals seeming to have had little to no access to food or water, they have survived against the odds,” HSI added.

“The animals we’re finding still alive are often in abandoned and damaged apartments, where they’ve been all alone throughout this disaster. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been for them enduring four earthquakes over the past couple of weeks, and also experiencing the deafening drone of helicopters overhead,” said Kelly Donithan, HSI’s Director of Animal Disaster Response.

“When I think of how nervous my own animals are at home when there are loud bangs like fireworks, it’s heartbreaking to think how traumatised these animals must have been. Now they’re getting all the love and care they need to heal, but every day we’re finding more amidst the rubble and wreckage,” she added.

READ: Turkiye faces challenge ‘beyond comprehension’ to clear earthquake rubble