Six months after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Humane Society International has established a permanent presence in the country and remains dedicated to addressing both short- and long-term animal issues in Haiti.
“With long-term staff on the ground, we will be able to much more thoroughly understand and respond to the needs in Haiti and develop a multiyear approach to address them,” said Chris Broughton, HSI’s on-site Haiti Program Coordinator. “Over the past two months, I have been meeting with local veterinarians, non-governmental organization representatives and government officials—both Haitian and American—to determine what role HSI will play in the country over the next three to five years and what services we can provide.”
Many costly items are required to effectively implement countrywide outreach, including critical medical supplies, sheltering equipment for clinics, field response equipment, GPS receivers and a vehicle.
HSI’s Haiti efforts are concentrated in five main areas:
- Opening Haiti’s first animal care and veterinary training facility outside of Port-au-Prince, which will offer small animal care and surgical training, equine care and medical training, disaster response training, and housing for foreign veterinary and disaster response experts;
- Offering field spay/neuter and general health clinics for both pets and street animals;
- Planning field equine care and welfare clinics;
- Giving advanced veterinary training to Haitian vets; and
- Delivering disaster response and management training to veterinarians and government officials around the country.
All HSI projects will focus on ensuring sustainability by increasing and enhancing the potential of local resources rather than replacing them with temporary ones. Although HSI’s animal care facility is in Port-au-Prince, the group’s efforts will extend nationwide.
Included in HSI’s Haiti efforts are partnership efforts with groups such as Best Friends Animals Society and the Christian Veterinary Mission.
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