Helping suffering animals after devastating mudslides in Sierra Leone
A team of veterinarians race in to save animals’ lives
Thousands of dogs are seriously affected in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone after devastating floods ravaged the city, killing over 300 people and making 2,000 families homeless.
We’re working closely with the National Welfare and Rabies Control Task Force on the ground to relieve the suffering of animals in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The team is organizing and leading mobile veterinary response teams and distributing emergency vet kits.
Many of the dogs the taskforce is treating are deeply traumatized, some in shock and injured with broken limbs causing extreme pain.
So far, local efforts have focused on the humanitarian crisis and veterinarians are in the disaster zone focusing on providing food and medical treatment for the animals in addition to preventing diseases, such as rabies, which is endemic in Sierra Leone.
As far as we know, the country has just four active vets and supplies of veterinary equipment and medicine is very limited, leaving animals in Sierra Leone vulnerable - thousands of dogs are fending for themselves on the streets of Freetown after 10 years of civil war and the Ebola crisis.
“Before this disaster the stray dog situation was already at breaking point. The terrible mudslides over the last week have turned the situation from bad to worse,” said Tennyson Williams, our Africa Director.
“These dogs are in dire need; injured, starving and at high risk of disease. We’re also very concerned that rabies could begin to spread rapidly. The National Welfare and Rabies Control Taskforce is doing everything they can to vaccinate as many dogs as possible.”
The team of veterinarians in Freetown will:
- Provide immediate assistance to animals on the ground, injured from the mudslides and meeting basic needs for survival.
- Provide emergency vet kit items which will include dressings and treatment for wounded animals and vaccinations against rabies.
- Assess the wider and longer term needs for the animals in partnership with the government.