A British Army veteran has joined a team of animal experts in the effort to rescue dogs injured by Cyclone Idai.
Former British Army paratrooper Jack Finn-Kelcey has joined Humane Society International’s (HSI) ‘Animal Rescue Team’ in areas of Mozambique and Malawi which have been devastated by Cyclone Idai.
One of the worst tropical cyclones on record, the storm left more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing when it hit last month.
Since then HSI has been working hard providing emergency aid to animals including dogs, cows and pigs.
Not only have the team been giving injured and lost animals food, medicine and care, but they have also met with community leaders and government officials to assess the needs and what action should be taken.
Jack, who previously lived in Malawi, joined the rescue effort, helping the team treat over 200 animals so far.
You can watch the video below to see how Jack and the team have been helping animals:
He told UNILAD:
Being in the heart of the areas worst affected by the cyclone and seeing the devastation it has caused to humans and animals is extremely distressing. People we meet are desperately worried about their animals, and many communities depend on them for their way of life.
HSI is working with the government and local vets to treat injured and ill animals and distribute vital veterinary supplies, food and water.
We have treated over 200 animals so far, from cows to cats, pigs to puppies. Receiving veterinary attention can be truly lifesaving, so we are treating as many as we can.
The team are dedicated to supporting the animals, even travelling by helicopter to places which are currently inaccessible by road.
As Jack mentioned, many of the communities affected by the disaster rely on animals for their way of life making HSI’s work even more vital.
The team discovered in one community only 16 of the 108 cattle there survived the storm.
Kelly Donithan, from the team, emphasied that’s why they are addressing the situation with urgency:
We have been working around the clock to treat animals injured or swept away in the cyclone, treating wounds, administering medication and providing food, water and basic supplies.
Animals are not only beloved in many communities across Malawi and Mozambique but also central to their lives and livelihoods.
By providing lifesaving care and disease prevention, we hope to help these communities and their animals begin the long road to recovery.
The team have been providing critical veterinary care including deworming dogs (including three puppies whose mum had passed), dispensing antibiotics and treating vitamin deficiencies.
In the Nhamatanda district for example, the team treated a dehydrated calf so he was able to stand and nurse from his mother again.
Although they have done some amazing work so far the team have no plans to stop soon knowing there are more animals to rescue. Keep going team!
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.