Spanish version

The capital of the department of Meta, located southeast of Bogotá is facing one of the worst winter seasons in the last 30 years. 1,200 families have been affected in 24 critical points.

Since last May 18, the city of Villavicencio has been on alert due to heavy rains and the overflow of several rivers which have generated floods, total loss of homes and blockages on some roads. 

In the midst of the emergency, and with the help of the government team, emergency agencies, the public force and other entities, nearly 250 people and 80 companion animals have been safely evacuated. Animals have been transferred to temporary shelters where they have received veterinary care. 

“We are facing the strongest rains in the last 30 years in Villavicencio according to technical national reports. During the past 20 days, the average monthly rainfall was exceeded in all meteorological stations. We are facing another challenge. The rains will not stop.” Stated the mayor of Villavicencio, Felipe Harman. 

The Municipal Mayor’s Office has arranged a place as a collection point, where donations for animals can be received, however, they do not have resources available to support further.  

The Municipal Mayor’s Office has arranged the La Grama Coliseum as a collection point, there they will be receiving donations of concentrated food, cat litter, blankets, mats and veterinary supplies and facilitated transportation for a rescue where 28 dogs and 7 cats were relocated.

Similarly, the Mayor’s Office has supported through its channels the call made by organisations such as AnimaNaturalis in Colombia, one of our allied organizations, to those who are in Bogotá and other areas of the country and want to help. 

SOS Animals Colombia also joined the team calling on different international actors interested in animal welfare to support the efforts of Colombian organisations. “Trough a fundraising campaign we are hoping to gather some funds to buy food, cat litter, blankets, mats and veterinary supplies” said Cecilia Angulo, SOS Animals Colombia founder. 

SOS Animals Colombia also stressed on the need to pressure the country’s authorities to build a proper prevention and care protocol for animals during emergencies, “There are no resources available for the animals because it hasn’t been budgeted, they are not considered part of the family, therefore animals are not beneficed from the insurances and medical services and this needs to change” she said.  

Although the articulation of rescuer agencies has made it possible to attend to this emergency in a timely manner, a national prevention and care protocol for animals in emergency or disaster situations is urgently needed.

To date, Bogotá is a pioneer in the inclusion of animals in protocols of this type with the recent launch of its free Primer respondiente ¡Gente que ayuda!, which to date has trained around 350,211 people and together with the District Secretariat of Health, the Official Fire Department and the District Institute for Risk Management and Climate Change – IDIGER, seeks to train people in veterinary first aid for emergency care due to being run over, falls from heights, poisoning, fractures, choking on objects strangers, among others. 

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