After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, our Disaster Relief unit was on the scene.
Our team provided and distributed approximately 4,000 pounds of dry dog and cat food throughout isolated areas in Puerto Rico. In addition to food distribution, the team also provided basic veterinary care to 580 sick and injured dogs and cats.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, people were unfortunately forced to leave their pets behind. Resources were limited for humans and animals.
Shelter numbers qucikly increased and many animals were left roaming the streets. The team's goal was to help provide resources for as many pet owners as possible.
"Animal welfare benefits the well-being of the entire community. When our team helps animals, people can concentrate on their own welfare."
- Dr. Jackson Zee, FOUR PAWS veterinarian and Head of Disaster Relief Unit
State of emergency makes the mission more difficult
While the team was in Puerto Rico, multiple cases of leptospirosis were reported. Luckily, no one from the team was affected. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can affect humans and animals. If contracted, high fever, headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes, and vomiting results. Without treatment, leptospirosis can lead to kidney and liver damage and even death. The disease often appears after flooding.
In addition to the increase and spread of diseases, roads were closed or completely destroyed, power outages were common, curfews were implemented and food and water were hard to come by.
Our team worked diligently to help as many animals in need as possible, as safely as possible.