World Animal Protection Acts For Animals Affected By Hurricane Irma

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - ​Images of animals left behind on a chain as waters rose were some of the most harrowing footage to come out of the devastating drama​ created by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Besides neglect, animals experience stress, get injured or fall ill​ in this sort of natural disaster, with a long-lasting legacy.​

Now with Hurricane Irma having devastated Caribbean nations and having arrived in mainland America, ​World Animal Protection has sent its teams to provide treatment for animals and help for their human guardians. ​Irma is the fiercest storm since Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in thePhilippines in 2013.

“Initial reports of damage in places like Barbuda are staggering. This is a storm unlike virtually any other. While to date the human death toll is lower than expected, we expect animals to need medical treatment and shelter," said Steven Clegg, International Response Manager at World Animal Protection. “We are very concerned for the animals who are often forgotten victims of disasters, and our teams are on the way to protect them.”

Antigua and Barbuda were most harshly affected and authorities described the devastation as near total, with 95 percent of structures on the island damaged or destroyed. World Animal Protection teams in the Caribbean are in touch with local governments and local veterinarians.

"There are dead animals everywhere and the smell is overpowering. I saw dogs and pigs starting to act feral and threaten other animals,” says Karen Corbin, executive director and president of Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society.

The NGO says it is on standby to provide first-aid assistance on the ground, emergency veterinary care and asses the wider and longer-term needs for the animals in conjunction with governments.

"Communities and people affected by the floods across the Caribbean depend on livestock to make ends meet, and as the recovery process begins, saving animals will provide stability for their future, " the NGO says.

To read a full account of the situation there, go here.​​

Image credit: Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society