Several quake-struck animals rescued, reunited with owners

Several quake-struck animals rescued, reunited with owners

Ece Çelik- Rıza Özel- ISTANBUL
Several quake-struck animals rescued, reunited with owners

Following the devastating quakes that rattled the country’s south, the Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP) has established three field hospitals in Malatya, Osmaniye and Hatay to treat quake-struck animals and reunite them with their owners.

An average of 40 animals are brought every day to the animal hospital in Hatay alone. Volunteer veterinarians are mobilized and work with great devotion for all animals who survived the quakes, such as cats, dogs, rabbits and even fish.

Rescued animals receive their first treatment in the field hospital of HAYTAP, following which their chips are scanned and are reunited with their owners if possible. Some of the volunteers also visit damaged buildings to rescue stranded animals.

“As a federation, we have gained great experience since the Manavgat fires, and we are always prepared for any disaster. When the quake happened, we were able to get coordinated swiftly, and volunteers from all over Türkiye gathered here. We have an average of 20 volunteers. Every day since the earthquake, we have rescued animals trapped under rubble or damaged buildings,” said Ömer Semih Çelik, a volunteer at HAYTAP.

“We have three cars and a crane to rescue animals whenever we get a call. We also work in coordination with two animal search and rescue teams that came from Germany and the U.S. Gendarmerie and police officers ask us for medication for their own dogs or for animals they found in the rubble. The Mexican search and rescue dog that was injured in the rubble is being treated here. An incredible atmosphere of solidarity has emerged,” Çelik added.

He also said they do not plan to put any pets for adoption for two months as there are animals whose owners might still be in the hospital for treatment.

“Bulut,” a Cavalier King Charles rescued 11 days later from the rubble of the Rönesans Residence in Hatay, where hundreds of people lost their lives after its collapse, was brought to the veterinary point established voluntarily by Bodrum Municipality Veterinary Affairs Directorate employees. Bulut underwent an operation, and the employees were able to contact its owners through its chip. The family, who went to stay with their relatives in Sivas after the quakes, shed tears of joy when they heard that Bulut was alive.

Another quake survivor, Seda Ege, learned that their cat “Sasha” was rescued by Mexican search and rescue teams and is under treatment in Ankara. On her trip to Ankara to get her cat, Ege will also take Bulut to Ankara to reunite the dog with its family.