Some three weeks after Typhoon Ketsana caused some of the worst flooding in the Philippines? history and prompted president Macapagal-Arroyo to declare a "State of calamity", more than 200,000 people are still living in makeshift shelters created after their homes and villages were flooded or destroyed by landslides. After evacuating with little notice through chest-deep water and with few shelter facilities for animals, most of these people were unable to take their pets and livestock with them.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is one of the few organizations on the scene in Manilla, searching for and rescuing animals that were left behind. Because of the lack of shelter facilities, most of the animals that are not severely injured are fed and provided with medical care on-site, with the hope that these animals will survive until their owners are able to return. On one day alone, one IFAW team fed almost 400 dogs and over 100 cats.
Speaking on the IFAW Animal Rescue blog, Emergency Relief Responder Sarah Sharp described the rescue of a kitten: "Our first rescue of the day was a kitten stuck on a hot metal roof, emaciated and dehydrated from the flooding ordeal. Although skittish at first, she was so hungry that she could not resist the smell of food wafting up to her. When she came out of hiding, we realized just how thin she was, and that without a caretaker present, there was no way this little one would make it."
"The furry faces of each and every animal we saw and helped are forever seared on my mind," continued Sharp. Many of the abandoned animals have now been without food or water for more than a week, and government agencies are expecting another typhoon to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. If you would like to donate to IFAW’s efforts in the region you can reach their website below.