Support animal relief following tsunami tragedy


Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 11:07 p.m.
A recent CNN poll showed that 46 percent of Americans thought animals should be a priority in the aftermath of the tsunami. The other 54 percent are failing to realize some important facts.
Of course, the imminent survival of people is of paramount importance, but a majority of the people affected are subsistence farmers who depend on cows, goats, sheep, chickens and other farm animals to survive.
These animals are now starving and dying of thirst because the saltwater destroyed their grazing areas and drinking water.
Second, although most wild animals escaped the initial onslaught, their habitat is destroyed. If they aren't helped, they will be competing for food and water with people, and more death and destruction will occur to all species.
Lastly, most of the affected areas are islands, and are home to many endangered species found no where else in the world. Many of these species were hanging on by a thread before the tsunami, due to the encroachment by humans.
If something isn't done to help these species, we can expect extinction (as in permanent) of dozens, if not hundreds, of species in the next couple of years.
I'm urging people to make even small donations to animal relief efforts as well as to those for people. We're supposed to be the most civilized nation in the world. Please let's show it.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals and the Emergency Animal Relief Services are both well-known and excellent organizations that will use your money well.
Deborah Kemmerer Cottrel, DVM, West End Animal Hospital, Newberry

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