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Help for earthquake-hit animals

The central Christchurch offices of animal welfare agency SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) remains in the cordoned off area following the recent earthquake in New Zealand, and operations to help animals are being managed from its Auckland office.
Within 36 hours of the quake SAFE launched Animal Aid, an online site designed to support and assist local animal welfare groups or shelters. It has also been working closely with the SPCA rescue team and is offering direct support to many of the local animal shelters and charities.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has also offered assistance to welfare organisations in Canterbury.

SAFE has offered support to the Cat's Protection League (CPL), DogWatch, K9 Rescue, Cat Help and Cat Rescue, and has helped secure water tanks, veterinary staff, and animal food, said Executive Director Anthony Terry.

"This is an extremely troubling time for us all and as a Cantabrian nothing sickens and saddens me more than knowing many Christchurch people are going through a hellish journey. The road to recovery will be long and enduring," he said.

Terry said rescuers were available to retrieve horses and pets who were left behind or trapped inside sheds or garages on quake-affected properties.

There was expected to be a huge influx of abandoned animals in the coming weeks. Those living near Christchurch who are able to foster animals, are being asked to on Pets on the Net.

"SAFE will continue to do what we can, the best we can. Our thoughts are certainly with our friends and family who are undoubtedly suffering after this most horrendous ordeal," Terry said.