Monday, January 19, 2009

Earthquake update from Mom

Hello All,

I had a day of rest today, thank God, so am going to write a little bit about what has been going on.

I have been trying to reduce the size of my photos all day and can't get the program to work right so will try again tomorrow if I am not too tired.

This situation is terrible here. Thousands of people are homeless and living in 18 (I think) shelters around the quake area. From what I can gather, the officials are keeping it quiet because they do not want to hurt their tourist season. It is high season right now.

They keep changing the number of dead and have yet to tell the truth.

I do know for a fact there were 34 bodies in their make-shift morgue last Saturday and they have dug out more bodies since then.
And they are still digging for more they know are buried.

They have mentioned one whole town that is completely gone, under a landslide, where they estimate there might have been about 50 people.

We have brought out 37 animals and have fed and watered hundreds daily. Not only dogs and cats, but chickens, cows, goats, birds and others were left behind when people fled the area or were crushed by the landslides.

At the shelters people come to us with animals in their arms. They tell us, "Their owners are dead. We brought their dog/cat with us to the shelter but we can't keep it. We don't have a house anymore."

We find dogs in falling down buildings, still doing their job and guarding the property. If they are in a relatively stable area, and don't want to leave their homes, we feed them, water them and leave them there. We go back daily and freshen their water and give them more food.

If they are in an area that is expected to slide down the mountain we take them out with us.

Some of the areas we have brought animals out of are now gone completely. Some of the roads we were on no longer exist.

We found a calf, too small to sip water or eat grass, who still needs to be nursing. He was locked in a small shed with water he was not capable of drinking. He was terribly skinny and was SCREAMING for us to help him. We found a local man who works at a dairy barn and took him with us to look at the calf.

He immediately took us to the dairy barn for a bottle and fresh milk. The man was shocked at the calf's condition and promised to contact the owner and ask if he could take the calf to the dairy barn until it is healthier.

We will check on him again tomorrow. If he is not at the dairy barn we will bring the police back to the shed and take the animal.

Cows in pastures that are unstable are developing mastitis from not being milked. We are releasing them and shooing them down the roads into town where the dairy barns take care of them.

It is very cold and windy there and it rains most days, even in dry season. We slide down mud hills and struggle up mud hills. We go into houses and sheds that are tumbling down around us.
When it does not rain, the dust is terrible because so much of the land has been laid bare by the quake and resulting landslides.

The police have been VERY cooperative with us and have been a huge help getting us into areas that are in the most danger. They bring animals to us if they find them. They flag us through the roadblocks with no hesitation. If there is a crisis with an animal they call us to come to the scene.

They know we were the first on the scene (Monday) and are doing what needs to be done. They do NOT like the 2 big money groups because when they took animals to them they were turned away just like the locals who bring animals who no longer have families. Those groups didn't even get there until Wednesday and were still getting "organized" Friday. They had not done ANY rescue before that. They told everyone, "We're not prepared to take any animals. We are still getting organized."

If we happen across a crisis, the other groups will just be standing there with their hands in their pockets, watching the animal suffer.
The police are always so glad to see us arrive.
Even the vets who are volunteering for those groups are coming to me for proper needles, syringes, meds, etc. I just cannot believe these groups are here so ill prepared.

Most of my medical supplies have been used up, loaned to vets, or have disappeared when we come back out of a slide area.

We brought out two full grown goats Saturday night. One in a large dog crate. One in my back seat with my daughter and a helper.

I am reducing just a few pictures until I can get my "batch re-size" to work and pictures will be on this blog later.

Please say prayers for us as we are going into another area tomorrow and matters will definitely be worse. It has been a long time since some of these animals have had any food or water. Pray that we can save them.

I will write more when I can.

Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am crying rivers reading these posts. I just mad a donation and will send more when some deposits clear. I wish we heard the real story on the news!! I am busy running a tourism based business in Puerto Viejo de Limon. This is so close, yet so far. Thank you animal lovers for what you are doing!!