Courageous puppy fights for life amid chaos of Ecuador earthquake


Following the devastating April earthquake in Ecuador, aftershocks continue daily. Injured animals are scared and stressed, including one young pup named Valentino.

“When we saw his suffering, we paid for him to be taken to Santo Domingo (a nearby location), where vets had the necessary equipment to save his life,”

In Pedernales city, a young dog with an unbreakable spirit recovers from tragic injuries. He had survived the initial earthquake, but was badly injured when an aftershock brought down part of a building on him. He sustained injuries to his leg, hip and head.

Next: Read about our work to help other animals affected by the earthquake

Gerardo Huertas, our Director of Disaster Management in Latin America has named him Valentino, meaning courage in Spanish.

Valentino gathers strength to stand and walk

Broken bones and crushed internal organs have given Valentino unimaginable pain. His screams and cries could be heard all night as he was being moved to a clinic.

“When we saw his suffering, we paid for him to be taken to Santo Domingo (a nearby location), where vets had the necessary equipment to save his life,” Gerardo said. 

During the trip to Santo Domingo, Valentino went into respiratory arrest caused by shock. He had lost a lot of blood. 

Vets did not leave his side and through tireless hours and dedicated work they were able to save him.

Today, Valentino is being cared for and recovering. Little by little he is eating and even walking.


Risks remain, but hope has arrived

Tremors still shock people and animals in Pedernales. According to a local animal welfare NGO, Rescate Animal, animals in temporary clinics are suffering anxiety and panic attacks.

Related: We don’t only act when disaster strikes – we help governments and communities to prepare

Unfortunately, pregnant dogs are losing their unborn puppies. The mothers are stressed and scared by the numerous tremors that still occur in the area.

In coordination with Rescate Animal and Regional Canine Training Center, we have created two vet clinics, one of them mobile, to give basic vet treatment to more than 15,000 pets in two months. The mobile clinic allows aid workers to reach animals stranded far from veterinary services that remain.

Thanks to your support, we are also giving 15 tons of food to dogs and cats in the most affected places.

Help us continue to be there for animals in need

Valentino’s story is just one of many playing out in Ecuador since the earthquake. Thousands of animals are still in need of food, shelter, and medical assistance. 

Thanks to your support, dogs and cats will survive this ordeal and become rays of hope in the darkness. 

Please consider supporting our work with a donation to our Disaster Management Fund, which helps local communities with disaster relief, preparedness and recovery.

Images courtesy of Acción Animal