Dogs at Montevideo’s only street dog shelter, have suffered a terrible tragedy! They really need your help now!
Our partner APA El Refugio is the only dog shelter in Uruguay’s capital. It deeply saddens us to tell you that in the middle of the night, a huge fire swept through tinder-dry vegetation surrounding the shelter, breached the walls and burnt kennels and enclosures where the dogs lived. What makes this catastrophe all the more heartbreaking is that for 360 rescued dogs, APA is the only hope of avoiding hunger, disease, and brutality on the streets of Montevideo.
Escandalo and Uma died in the fire…
and 358 other dogs were left traumatized and terrified.
The fire was so fierce that all the nightwatchman could do was call for help and fight the fire alone with the shelter’s fire extinguishers. He did his best but the heat from the fire was so intense that it made no difference.
APA El Refugio has a special place in our hearts because it cares for many special needs dogs. Poor Escandalo was one of them. Escandalo, an old boy around the age of 12, was rescued from the streets - he suffered neurological damage from the abuse he had received. He found loving care at the shelter and had a few happy years, until the fire raged.
Escandalo was unable to escape the flames and burnt to death. His friend Uma, an elderly Labrador, escaped instant death but immediately afterward died from a heart attack caused by shock and fear. Imagine how they felt as a wall of fire and searing heat roared towards them, and they had nowhere to go.
We mourn both dogs and, in their memory, we promise to help the survivors.
It took firefighters and APA volunteers 12 hours to put out the fire and evacuate the surviving dogs. We thank every single firefighter and animal lover who tirelessly worked to save the dogs. Now, the shelter faces the daunting task of restocking essential supplies and equipment and rebuilding.
If we can raise $5,000 (£3,600), it will go a long way towards giving the dogs improved enclosures and to honor the memory of those who perished. APA gets no support from authorities and is the only shelter of its kind in the city of Montevideo. We have supported dogs in Uruguay since 2018 thanks to animal lovers like you who have helped to make their lives so much better than facing death daily on the streets. Then this happened!
Gangsters, raging inferno and devastating flood.
How much more can the dogs take?
Last year, armed gangsters who were high on drugs invaded the shelter, pistol-whipping a vet and shooting at the dogs. The trauma was so severe that only recently have things returned to normal. Then came the fire. After a month without a single drop of rain, the entire area was frighteningly dry. Climate change is the suspect.
The catastrophic fire was ignited when thieves trying to steal copper cables caused a fateful spark. Within minutes, the fire was impossible to stop. The heat was so intense that firefighters could not get near the burning area. The shelter had fire extinguishers, but they were powerless against an inferno that took more than 12 hours to put out.
Poor Escandalo and Uma had no chance.
They say things always happen in threes…
First it was the ATTACK BY ARMED GANGSTERS…
Then the FIRE struck…
And then, unbelievably - just six days later - the entire area was devastated by a FLOOD!
More than eight inches (just over 200 millimeters) of rain fell on the shelter in ONE HOUR, that’s more than the shelter usually gets in a month! Kennels were swept away and food was destroyed.
This is an extraordinary situation where the dogs really need your help. Please, make a generous donation right now so that we can guarantee that the dogs get the help they need.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Innocent street dogs rescued from cruelty and neglect have been attacked by gangsters, killed in a dreadful fire, and had their kennels and food swept away by a flood. They deserve a little help now. Please donate right away to ease their suffering.
P.P.S. The latest news is that APA El Refugio has just taken in 28 puppies who were orphaned in the flood. For the sake of Escandalo and Uma, let’s fight for their lives. Your donation will really help.