In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall, the NFA disaster relief team has been working round the clock to gather supplies, hire vets and dispense aid to the animals that survived the 200 mile per hour winds and storm surges.
Our team has focused on the northern section of Cebu island and surrounds, an area that bore the brunt of the typhoon, where they provide veterinary care, hand out food and provide clean water, all vital elements for animals to survive.
The team are obviously encountering numerous situations of heartbreak and loss. They came across a 53 year old woman named Lyking in the town of San Remigio, which was directly in the path of the typhoon, scavenging for food scraps for her 7 dogs and 3 chickens. She proudly told our team that she is a passionate animal lover and before the typhoon struck, had 12 dogs, 2 goats and 4 chickens -- all named after Hollywood stars and kept as companions. Sadly, Lyking was unable to save all her animals from the fury of the typhoon and she broke down in tears as she told our team how she buried the bodies of those she could find. When our vet offered to help, Lyking's tears of pain turned to tears of joy, and she quickly rounded up all her pets. Our vet examined the animals, all of whom were coping, but very hungry. A few of the dogs were treated for mange, wounds were cleaned and of course, lots of dog food provided to help Lyking through the next few weeks.
Because the scale of destruction is so vast, local officials are predicting that it will take many months for basic services such as clean water and electricity to be reinstated and years for the region to rebuild their homes and businesses and restart their economy. Thus, our help will be needed for many months to come before the region is stabilized to the point where people can care for their animals.