Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Compassion doesn't care if you have two legs or four': The vets working to save the animals caught up in Nepal's devastating earthquake

Purnima Tamang lost everything in the Nepalese earthquake which destroyed most of her village.

Everything, that is, apart from her flock of eight goats.

Mrs Tamang, alone and without family, is now sheltering with her animals in what remains of her house.

'Call them what you want – my property, my family, my friends, they are all I have left,' she said.

But her goats are suffering from exposure, having been soaked by rain for five days - and that is where the Humane Society International's animal rescue team comes in.

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The HSI's vets have arrived in the disaster-hit country, travelling out into the remote villages outside of Kathmandu.

Thousands of animals - many of which are vital to the livelihood of the families who own them - have been affected by the earthquake.

Many have sustained injuries from being trapped in collapsed buildings or hit by falling debris, while a huge number have been crushed to death or buried alive.
Working with a number of other animal welfare charities, HSI's team is providing life-saving medicines, vaccinations, surgical equipment and other supplies for the four-legged victims of the quake, as well as looking into providing shelter and food for sick, injured, lost and abandoned animals.

But they are also helping the villagers they come across.

In Sengden Village, vets have treated Mrs Tamang's goats for respiratory problems, and are now planning to return with medicine and food to help her.

Rahul Sehgal, director of HSI Asia, said: 'There is complete devastation in many areas for people and animals alike, and we're helping both.

'For many people, their animals are all they have left, so HSI's animal aid is a vital lifeline.