A scared yellow dog being held by Mr. Magata, a community volunteer, waits for treatment at the camp set up by APOWA  disaster response team.

A scared yellow dog being held by Mr. Magata, a community volunteer, waits for treatment at the camp set up by the APOWA disaster response team.

 

By Rashmi Ranjan,  

 

 

Conditions are improving gradually in cyclone- and flood-affected districts of coastal Odisha. But the situation in many places of Ganjam district remains grim. The catastrophe has been called the worst in living memory for Odisha. Our disaster response team is still on the scene and, as the roads are being cleared, is now able to reach remote areas to care for the animals.

 

As well as direct feeding of animals, we have also handed over food to village authorities and community groups so they can continue to feed stray hungry animals in their villages until the situation returns to normal.  We are making good progress, but there is still so much to do.

 

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Dr. Laxman Behera and Dr Panigrahi treat a sick calf at Bhagirathpur village in the Chhatrapur block, of Ganjam district.

 

October 29, 2013:

 

We conducted relief work in the worst affected villages of Niakanthapur, giving relief to 55 animals. We are thankful to the local Sarpanch for providing a country boat so we could get around.

 

Mr. Sukumar Parida, one of our disaster response team members, feeding puppies in Bhagirathpur village in the Chhatrapur block, of Ganjam district. We have been taking special care of the babies.

Mr. Sukumar Parida, one of our disaster response team members, feeding puppies in Bhagirathpur village in the Chhatrapur block, of Ganjam district. We have been taking special care of the babies.

 

October 30, 2013:

 

Today we visited Dandisahi village, which was still marooned by surrounding floodwaters.  Our rescue team moved from door to door.  We fed and treated 51 animals and gave out leaflets about the importance of hygiene in preventing disease outbreaks.

 

 

October 31, 2013:

 

We covered the area around Bhagirathpur village in the Chhatrapur block, of Ganjam district. Our team worked together with a vet team from Chhatrapur block and a WTI (Wildlife Trust of India)/IFAW team to feed and treat 54 animals.

 

 

Floodwaters stand between villages. Our team traveled in a small boat to reach suffering animals.

Floodwaters stand between villages. Our team traveled in a small boat to reach suffering animals.

 

November 1, 2013:

 

It was another long working day for APOWA’S disaster rescue team. We gave food and treatment to 127 animals in Mahanadapur village of the Chhatrapur block, of Ganjam district. We are grateful for the help of our amazing volunteers, who responded quickly on the first day of the disaster and who are still working alongside us.

 

November 2, 2013:

 

Today we remained at Mahanadpur village, continuing relief work for a second day  Our team reached 140 animals with food and medical treatment. The footprint of the devastation is huge. Now the situation is slowly improving, and it is possible to reach many remote villages which were previously cut off  without any access.

 

November 3, 2013:

 

Our team is hard at work in the devastated areas of Ganjam and Kendrapara district. We treated 77 surviving animals in Biripur village, including dogs, cats, cows, and bulls.

 

November 4, 2013:

 

We visited Manikpatana village in the Aul block, which was hit by the cyclone and then by floods. We gave food and vet care to the animals and showed the villagers how to use the medicines, explaining the dosages that need to be administered, so we could leave supplies with them for the long-term care of the animals. Our team, headed by Dr Laxman Behera, treated 61 animals.

 

 

Flooding near Shantipada village.

Flooding near Shantipada village.

 

November 5, 2013:

 

We conducted relief work in Shantipada village. Our team treated 62 animals including dogs, cows, and bulls.

 

November 6, 2013:

 

Our disaster response team of volunteers, vet techs, and veterinarians, all working together, doing rounds of the streets of Sidhabali village, checked, treated, and gave food to 53 animals.

 

Our volunteers are loading lifesaving feed and medicines. APOWA’s team has been busy caring for animals since the cyclone and floods devastated coastal Odisha.

Our volunteers are loading lifesaving feed and medicines. APOWA’s team has been busy caring for animals since the cyclone and floods devastated coastal Odisha.

 

November 7, 2013:

 

Our team spent the whole day providing vet care to injured or sick cows, bulls, buffaloes, dogs, cats, and other animals in Jagannathpur village. People were happy to see us and eagerly brought injured and sick animals to our treatment camp. Several village people volunteered to help and worked alongside our team to treat stray dogs, bulls, and cats in their village. 58 animals were treated today.

 

From Cats to Dogs to Stray Bulls…

 

Ever since cyclone Phailin devastated 18 coastal districts of Odisha on October 12, 2013, APOWA’s disaster response team has been helping afflicted animals, victims of the cyclone and the terrible floods that followed. Thousands of animals are silent victims of this catastrophe. Even now, our rescue team is continuing to help make life better for the animals including dogs, cats, bulls, cows, goats, sheep, and donkeys. We educate villagers about disease-prevention measures and post-disaster care, and hand out leaflets in the local language. We are committed to the well being of these suffering animals and will continue our cyclone and flood relief work until the situation improves.

 

Acknowledgement:

 

We would like to thank Help Animals India, HSI-India, WTI/IFAW, Harmony Fund, and Singhvi Charitable Trust for their support in this hour of need to provide relief and rescue efforts to the animal victims of the cyclone and floods. Local community volunteers are stepping forward as part of this response.

 

We are grateful to all who have shown concern for the animals, and we are confident that their compassion will help the affected villages move forward — not only in the wake of this particular effort, but that this will lay the groundwork for an increased sensitivity to animal welfare throughout the community in the days and months ahead.

 

Thanks and kind regards,

Rashmi Ranjan,

On behalf of the APOWA Team,

Odisha, India