Friday, February 13, 2009

Update 2/13/2009

Hello Everyone,

It's me again. BudBud's mom, "Kitten."

He's allowing me to use his blog to send you this update.
Thanks BudBud. Good boy!!

I could not get a helicopter donated to get into Cinchona so we had to hire one.
I paid for it with what was left of the donations I had and some from our own
pocket as usual. The total cost for the helicopter was $3,000.00. We still owed $1,000.00 because they worked longer than we had planned. We finally got some donations from people here and were able to pay off the balance today.

The weather washed out all the bridges (the one pictured below and shown in the video at washed out the night after we crossed it) and that kept them from dynamiting. They will have to build a temporary bridge to get in to place the charges. The government is not going to allow anyone to build there ever again because the land is too unstable.
We could not go in even by helicopter with the high winds on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Cinchona is now nothing but a huge pile of dirt from the mountain that fell on it from above. All the homes were buried. There was a jelly factory there that made the worlds best strawberry jelly and jam. It was destroyed along with 300 workers homes and other buildings in that small village.

I didn't get to go into Cinchona with the helicopter (I had to make a 3 day trip to Panama on Monday) but Isabelle, my earthquake rescue partner, went in. The helicopter people, who did give us a discount, also sent a search and rescue crew to help with capturing and transporting the animals. A reporter from channel 6 and a professional photographer also went in to help.

Isabelle and the crew brought out 6 dogs, 19 pigs and piglets, and about 65 chickens. Even the helicopter pilot helped. All the animals were starving and most were thrilled to be rescued..... well....the mama pigs did put up a bit of a struggle but the baby pigs thought it was fun.

Three of the dogs they brought out had owners waiting for them with open arms. The other three are now with Karin at Animales de Asis shelter.
The animals who have not been claimed by the 15th of February will be placed into adoptive homes. There are many.

Some people have called Karin and told her that she has their dog in her shelter but they have no place to live yet. She is placing a longer hold on those animals to give the owners extra time to find a place for them.

There are still dogs and other animals in Cinchona who need to be rescued. The dogs have turned somewhat feral at this point and cats, goats and others were too frightened to show themselves. Some of the dogs were street dogs who were already feral. They could not be caught that day, since helicopter time was so limited, but we are trying to get enough money together to go back in to to capture them and bring them out.

I am supposed to get the photos from the rescue tomorrow and I will try to post them on BudBuds photo site so you can see them.

Other groups, who have not been anywhere NEAR the earthquake site, are now putting up fliers asking for donations to help with the animals "THEY" rescued from the area. It never ceases to amaze me how people who claim to be rescue people will exploit the animals if it will line their pockets.

One of the groups, who caused so many problems originally, threw a HUGE party in an expensive resort to celebrate "THEIR" accomplishments.
While they were having their party we were still rescuing animals out of the area from which they had claimed to have already rescued all the animals.

The money they spent, just for that party, would have paid for ALL of our expenses and THEN some. I guess that is how they spent the $75,000.00 donation from Europe.

We have also found out that some groups are claiming to be "teamed up" with Lighthouse Animal Rescue and are asking for donations for the animals.
Lighthouse Animal Rescue is not "teamed up" with ANY of these groups.

We cooperated with ALL of the so called rescue people but are not associated with any of them.

I am tired. I have lost 17 or 18 pounds. I am anxious to get back into Cinchona and get the remaining animals out. I don't believe in leaving a job until it is finished.

Please say prayers that we can manage to get another copter and get back in for one more try at saving these animals.

I will update again when I have more news.

Frances "Kitten" Jones
Lighthouse Animal Rescue

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