In coordination with the Tongan government, IFAW provided emergency funding to distribute three months of essential veterinary assistance to the main island, Tongatapu, and outer islands. The grant has helped thousands of animals, including dogs, cats, cattle and chickens.
In July, wildfires erupted in the Gironde region of southwestern France, forcing nearly 40,000 people from their homes. The inhabitants of the Cazaux district in Gironde had to leave without their pets and their livestock, not knowing when they could return to collect their animals or if their animals would survive.
IFAW immediately contacted government authorities, partners and animal shelters to offer advice and emergency grants.
IFAW is no stranger to fires. His recent fire responses include the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires and the North American wildfires. Even when IFAW isn’t on the ground during a disaster, the organization does crucial work creating animal rescue networks among community organizations that can help animals and each other in times of disaster. .
No one can predict exactly when and where the next disaster will occur or how it will affect communities and animals. But there is no doubt that another disaster is never far away and IFAW is already preparing for it. As of this writing, IFAW has begun supporting animal rescue and recovery in Pakistan in response to the deadly floods.
“The more we can build resilience at the community level, the less money, effort, tears and sweat we will have to invest,” says Walajtys, noting IFAW’s focus on risk reduction.
IFAW also recently opened its first-ever Center of Excellence (CoE), with the goal of building animal rescue capacity around the world. Located in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, IFAW’s CoE will provide intensive animal rescue training to professional and volunteer rescue personnel in the field.
Dedicated to rescuing animals during and after disasters, IFAW’s Disaster Response and Risk Reduction team is busier than ever saving wildlife, keeping pets with their families, and help communities recover.