As early as four (4) days after Super Typhoon Yolanda, PAWS in cooperation with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) responders who flew in from their head office in Massachussetts, US, was able to reach so-called “Ground Zero” of the disaster- Tacloban. Conditions were bad, where even relief did not reach humans and there were still human bodies uncollected in the streets- even one kilometer away from the airport. The PAWS-IFAW Team observed that the animals who survived seemed fairly able to still gather food. Among the tragic scenes they came across were the many companion animals who drowned because they were tethered and the bodies of pets lovingly covered by blankets by their surviving human families.
IFAW informed PAWS that the body conditions of the surviving dogs will start to deteriorate at least 3 to 4 weeks after the disaster, when the animals have finished up eating whatever food can be foraged in the vicinity. True enough, when our 4th and 5th teams visited the same area last November 29th, no animal refused the dry food that our team gave them.
The PAWS-IFAW Team had also set up a plan where a vaccination program was incorporated into the food relief given to the animals. Having vaccinated dogs and cats in the area would mean that the animals are less likely to get blamed for spread of diseases. This also made it easier for our team to identify the numbers of animals we would need to bring back food relief for within the next few weeks. The people who lined up to get their pets vaccinated received new collars for their pets – a means for the PAWS-IFAW team to identify which among the dogs and cats have already been vaccinated. For the first relief run ( this was after two assessment sweeps made in two different areas – Tacloban and in Eastern Samar) on November 19th, a total of 183 animals were vaccinated as the team continued to gather information from the barangay leaders. Among the first areas reached by our Relief Team was the Municipality of Palo (Bgys Cavite East, Cavite West, St. Michael, Luntad, Sta. Cruz) and the Municipalities of Tolosa and Dulag.
Dr. David Arceo narrated that the area of Palo seemed to have the most of number of pets that survived and where pet owners eagerly lined up to get supplies for their dogs. In a barangay in Palo, he remembers an unexpected pair of duck and dog watching them as they worked, both creatures walking in tandem and never leaving each other’s side.
Much to the amusement of onlookers, the duck, panicked and squawked, when Doc Dave picked the dog up to vaccinate him. The owner of the dog and the duck explained that the pair were inseparable ever since the duck – as an orphaned duckling – “chose” the dog as its mother and companion.
The call for donations put out by PAWS in its Facebook page in mid-November was well-received by online citizens who immediately sent in monetary assistance. Individual donors and groups of people sent in a total of P270,000. Aside from IFAW and the Lance Askgaard Foundation , international groups who sent in financial help – World Vets, Vets for Pets, Pet Aid UK and Animals Asia Foundation.By the fourth and fifth run for November 29th to December 3rd, the combined two teams of PAWS- IFAW and the PAWS- Lance Askgaard Foundation vaccinated and fed a total of 800 animals and treated an estimated 300 dogs who were either sick or had scratches or minor wounds on them.
Dr. Karen Golong – volunteer physician for the PAWS-LAF Team – was able to also give free check-ups to 656 people as the veterinary team of Dr. David Arceo working with Tacloban-based veterinarians Dr. Nikki Oppus, Dr. Marlon Conde and veterinary students Sarah Lago, Benzon Jadoc, Teresita Labra and Richie Gamas attended to 706 companion animals. Dogs and cats received much needed vitamin supplements on top of rabies vaccinations and dewormers. Dogs with mange were also given treatment..
V and G Subdivision | Tanauan
|Animals Fed /|
|Humans Given Relief|
PAWS-IFAW worked with World Vets and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Vet Corps to render service to 368 animals in San Jose, Tacloban City and municipalities of Marabut, Giuan, Giporlos, and Balangga in Eastern Samar. These animals were vaccinated and tagged with new collars to identify them. Aside from pet food, relief goods were also given to their owners. The work is not yet done. Presently, we are filling up a container van bound for Tacloban and will send another team on December 11th and on December 16th.
Please continue sending support to help us continue our work. The animals and their owners will need assistance for at least the next three months in order to get back on their feet (or paws) again, so to speak. PAWS is working with government to make sure animals are always included in disaster-relief programs.
The PAWS-IFAW team had proposed the idea of coordinating all international animal welfare groups’ efforts to the Bureau of Animal Industry so that all resources will be effectively spread out.
We are pleased to announce that PAWS-IFAW was among the first teams recognized by the Animal Relief & Rehabilitation Philippines (ARRPh) of Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). The ARRPh logo is designed by PAWS Director Heidi Guzon.
For those who would like to continue helping, the PAWS Paypal account link and bank account numbers are, as follows:
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
USD Account No. 3944-0021-61
PHP Account No. 3943-0086-11
Swift no. BOPIPHMM
Philippine National Bank (PNB)
Swift no. PNBM PHMM
PHP Account 37-826-380001-2
(old number 072-830174-0)
Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO)
PHP Account No. 6250058159
Account Name for all bank accounts:
Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
and email us – firstname.lastname@example.org a copy of the validated deposit slip with a note “for disaster-relief -Typhoon Yolanda victims”.