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Many neighborhood dogs are hungry and scared; our rescue team is feeding these animals with the help of village volunteers.)

Many neighborhood dogs are hungry and scared; our rescue team is feeding these animals with the help of village volunteers.

By Rashmi Ranjan

On behalf of the APOWA Team

Our disaster response team is still hard at work conducting emergency rescue and relief efforts for the animals and people affected by cyclone Phailin and the flooding. The havoc didn’t end with the flooding, but another disaster in the form of incessant heavy rain due to low pressure across the Odisha coast since October 22, 2013 has brought flash floods to severely affected coastal districts. This has also hampered recovery and rescue efforts.

We are providing emergency food, water, medical treatment and, just as important, compassionate care to cyclone victim dogs, cats, goats, sheep, donkeys, and cattle. We are working in the worst affected areas of the Ganjam and Kendrapara districts of Odisha state.

October 24, 2013

 

We traveled to Kalyanipur village in the Kainchapur panchayat of the Ganjam district, one of the areas hardest hit by cyclone Phailin. Over a hundred homes were leveled. The scene, even more than one week after the cyclone, is truly catastrophic.

At Kalyanipur village, Bichi, Mantu, Sukumar and Bijaya pitched in to help with feeding stray dogs, cats and bulls. The animals were very happy to eat. They fed 86 animals in this village. Subhajyoti, Magta, Nimain, and Fakira assisted Dr. Behera and Dr. Piyush, who is a vet with HSI – Asia (Humane Society International), in treating affected animals. By the end of the day, they had treated 91 animals.

Mr. Mantu, one of our disaster response team members, rescuing an injured calf to be treated.

Mr. Mantu, one of our disaster response team members, rescuing an injured calf to be treated.

October 25, 2013

The APOWA disaster rescue team is continuing to bring food and treatment to affected animals. Our team, which includes two veterinarians and several volunteers, has been working continuously in the affected areas, supporting relief efforts and providing treatment and emergency feeding. Today, we visited Sanakainchapur of Kainchapur panchayat in the Ganjam district. 76 animals were given food and medical care in this village.

October 26, 2013

Today, our team visited Jagannathpur village of Kainchapur panchayat of the Ganjam district to respond to an urgent plea for help. Our rescue team worked long and hard, and were able to provide relief to 133 animals. They were also given a vitamin supplement. The team immediately got to work mixing vitamins and nutritional supplements into the food for the cattle. The team were helped by community volunteers from the village. This was truly an amazing community of animal lovers!

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A cyclone survivor from Satrusoul village, who is a community volunteer, brings his companion dog for treatment.

Mr. Bijaya is helping a puppy, while our team feeds her mother.

Mr. Bijaya is helping a puppy, while our team feeds her mother.

 

October 27, 2013

Our disaster response team has been working for the last two weeks to provide relief and rescue to the surviving animals.  Today, we visited Borigaon village in the Humma panchayat of the Ganjam district. There we worked with our dear friend, Mr. Rabindra Sahu, and volunteers from the Rushikullay Sea Turtle Protection Committee, Ganjam. Our team treated 92 animals for various ailments, like fevers, coughs, and injuries caused by the cyclone and floods.

We are also bring food for stray bulls in flood affected areas.

We are also bringing food for stray bulls in flooded areas.

October 28, 2013

It was another long working day for APOWA’S disaster rescue team in Satrusoul village in the Subalaya panchayat of the Ganjam district. Our team reached 208 cyclone victim animals providing food and medical treatment. This was a tiring day especially for the drivers Subhajyoti and Mantu who had to drive ten hours straight. The drivers’ dedication to APOWA’s mission and to the animals cannot go unmentioned. Nonstop work, loading, walking, and handling animals illustrate what teamwork and love for animals really means.

One of our volunteers is traveling with medicines to a flooded village to provide relief to the animals.)

One of our volunteers is traveling with medicines to a flooded village to provide relief to the animals.

This disaster makes everything worse for animals that are already hungry and scared; they search for food. It is estimated that thousands of animals, mostly dogs, cats, and cattle were impacted by the cyclone and flood. Many were injured, sick, weak, and suffering from malnutrition. The unspeakable misery of animals cannot be described in words. APOWA has a long history of responding to natural disasters, which happen in Odisha regularly. “We were one of the few animal welfare organizations on the ground in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin,” says Dr. Laxman Behera, veterinarian, who is leading our disaster response team. “Not only have we been rescuing hundreds of animals, but we gave them the food and medical care they needed.”

Amazing Volunteers:

We are grateful to over 20 volunteers who devote their time and love to help us in our mission to rescue, nurture and provide emergency feeding to cyclone and flood victim animals in Odisha.  Mr. Bichitra Biswal, who traveled from the Puri district, is part of a dedicated group of core volunteers who have been helping us since the beginning of the cyclone. We are also mobilizing village volunteers who come forward to help in our relief efforts for animals in their village. They are a terrific group of volunteers and we thank them for all of their hard work and support! It is a great feeling to know that we are making a difference for animals. It has always been and will continue to be all about the animals.

In this precarious situation we would request to all to extend your kind support to continue our life- saving work in areas hit hard by the cyclone and floods.

To visit APOWA’s website, click here:

 

To donate via Help Animals India, click here.

 

Photos: Courtesy of APOWA

A stray bull being fed by Mr. Mantu Das, a volunteer with our disaster response team.

A stray bull being fed by Mr. Mantu Das, a volunteer with our disaster response team.

By Rashmi Ranjan,

On behalf of the APOWA team

APOWA has been providing relief to animals in cyclone- and flood-affected villages of Odisha, India.  Phailin left a trail of destruction.  According to the report of the Animal Resource Development Department, Government of Odisha, over seven million animals were adversely affected.

The cyclone, attaining a windspeed of 220 kilometers per hour (136 miles per hour) killed 1,500 large animals, 3,000 small animals and 600,000 birds.

Recent heavy rains, due to another low pressure system that formed over the Bay of Bengal on the Odisha coast, have worsened the suffering of Phailin victims. A continuous downpour has made life precarious and painful in the affected areas.

Since the cyclone struck, APOWA’s disaster response team has been conducting rescue and relief work on the basis of a war footing.  We’ve been helped by five animal caretakers who feed neighborhood dogs and an honorary animal welfare officer, certified by the Animal Welfare Board of India.

Our Kindness vehicle has been traveling from village to village in the affected areas, offering much-needed assistance and providing vital resources to the animals in distress. Our team of one veterinarian, three paravets (vet techs), and 14 volunteers has been on the go tirelessly, treating animals and providing emergency feeding.

Mr. Bijaya, of APOWA, with neighborhood dogs in  Singhagaon village.

Mr. Bijaya, of APOWA, with neighborhood dogs in Singhagaon village.

October 19, 2013

Our team spent a whole day at Singhagaon village, where a great many animals – neighborhood dogs, stray bulls, cats, and buffaloes were suffering from injury, hunger, dehydration, fever, and coughs.  Some kind volunteers from the community joined our team and pitched in, helping to feed the dogs, cats, and cows. Our team provided treatment and feeding to 68 animals in the village.

Mr. Mantu Das feeding hungry cows in affected areas.

Mr. Mantu Das feeding hungry cows in affected areas.

October 20, 2013

It’s been a full week since we started providing relief to the surviving animals of the cyclone and flooding. Today, we rushed to Bishnupur village, where we treated and gave food to 54 animals.

October 21, 2013

Today our team treated and fed 71 animals at Berhampur village of Pattamundai block.

October 22, 2013

A team from Humane Society International (HSI) Asia headed by Soham Mukherjee and two veterinarians joined our team at Kantiagarh and Laxmipur village of Ganjam District. There 133 animals were treated and emergency feeding provided.

Two volunteers brought two baby goats to Dr. Laxman Behera for treatment.

Two volunteers brought two baby goats to Dr. Laxman Behera for treatment.

October 23, 2013

We continue our lifesaving work for animals and our rescue and relief efforts.  Our team moved to Kusumi village of Aul block, which had been cut off, entirely surrounded by rivers and severely affected by both the cyclone and the floods.  There 83 animals were treated and 52 animals were given food.

Our disaster response team traveled by boat to reach cyclone and flood victims.

Our disaster response team traveled by boat to reach cyclone and flood victims.

Our priority in this disaster is to aid homeless, stray animals who need emergency vet care and food.  At the same time, we are continuing our regular work helping other animals.

Without proper electricity and no drinking water, food procurement is a big problem faced by our team.  Despite the difficulty, we’re doing everything possible to get food and treatment to the animals. Because of our love for the animals, we will continue to stay here, working on their behalf until the situation improves.

We are grateful to all of our supporters, well-wishers, and to the district administration for their timely cooperation in our work for the animals in the aftermath of cyclone Phailin.

To visit the website of APOWA, click here.

For an easy way to donate, via Help Animals India, click here.

Photos: Courtesy of APOWA

Baby sea turtles

March in Orissa was a time for Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting and hatching. At Gahrimatha on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, 17 million expectant mother sea turtles made their way ashore to nest.

Many others had nested earlier along other areas of the beach.

Life is hazardous for the baby turtles who hatch and then dash pell mell towards the sea; only one out of a thousand lives to grow up and become an adult.  These slim chances, however, can be increased by the care and attention of groups like APOWA (Action for Protection of Wild Animals).

Many predators lie in wait for the innocent little sea turtles.  Then there are the threats of hurricanes and beach erosion.  Artificial lights can even cause them to head off in the wrong direction away from the sea.

APOWA’s volunteers have so far rescued 5,000 disoriented baby turtles from the nesting beaches of Siali, Jatadhari and Devi, releasing them safely into the sea, thus giving them a good start in life.

Their Beach Patrols keep an eye on the shores to protect the little turtles from predators and from poaching.

An awareness program teaches people about the endangered turtles, and this helps prevent poaching too.

To read more about the APOWA sea turtle program, click here.  

For information on how to donate to help APOWA save thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of APOWA