Animals in disasters

We move fast to protect animals affected by disasters – reducing suffering and helping governments and communities to recover and rebuild.

50 years of disaster experience

The impact of disasters is devastating for animals and the communities that depend on them. For more than 50 years, we‘ve helped governments and communities prepare for disasters, enabling people to protect animals and rebuild their lives. Tens of millions of people worldwide depend on their animals – for food, to earn a living, to stay healthy, as companions, for status, and to stay safe. That’s why the lives of animals and people are fundamentally linked.

More than seven million animals protected

As well as working with governments and communities in preparation for disasters, we act fast to ensure animal needs are met when disasters strike. In the 50 years we have worked on disaster responses, we have provided aid to over seven million animals.

We have a global network of response teams, so our staff can be on the scene of a disaster within days. Once we arrive, we work with local partners to assess what’s needed and to set up relief programmes quickly and efficiently. We provide whatever aid is necessary – whether that means providing emergency veterinary treatment, distributing food, evacuating animals from danger, or reuniting animals and owners that have been separated by disasters.

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

Are you prepared to evacuate your pet in case of a disaster? Download our checklist to help you be prepared

The power of being ready

Through our work with governments, international bodies, NGOs and local and national partners, we empower communities in disaster-prone areas to prepare for the future. This can include:

  • Training people to care for animals during and after disasters
  • Developing community emergency plans that include animals
  • Setting up early warning systems
  • Helping people store and protect food and water
  • Demonstrating how to safely evacuate animals from danger
  • Building, strengthening and securing animal shelters
  • Running vaccination programs
  • Releasing public service announcements on caring for animals during disasters.

​Learn more about the importance of animal protection in disaster risk reduction.

Helping working animals helps people to recover and rebuild

In some communities, responding quickly to protect animals can reduce the need for long-term aid. If animals are saved, families can stay self-sufficient – and be better prepared for future disasters. But without animals, families lose one of their main sources of income, and are often left with no way to rebuild their lives. That’s why losing animals can hinder the recovery of entire communities.

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Support our work to protect animals in disasters

Thanks to your support, we have been able to give aid to millions of affected animals in disaster zones. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

No-one knows when disaster will strike. A contribution to our disaster management fund helps us be there to protect vulnerable animals and support communities and governments to prepare.

Latest campaign news

September 04 2019
Some of the world’s most iconic animals – such as jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, sloths, river dolphins, macaws, parrots, and anacondas – as well as pets, are grave risk as fires continue to blaze through the Amazon rainforest. We’re working with local authorities and rescue centres to help