Kinship Circle
Chile Earthquake & Tsunami
Notes & Photos From The Field
From March to June 2010, Kinship Circle partnered with Socorro Animal Chile (SACH), a coalition of Chilean animal groups and veterinarians. We sent disaster animal response teams to the Eighth Region of Bio Bio, a vast stretch north and south of Concepcion, for:
  • Search and Rescue / Field First Aid
  • Traveling Emergency Veterinary Clinics
  • Food/Supplies For Animlas At Tent Camps, In Field
  • Support: Vaccination, Sterilization, Adoption
injured horse in Lota
Kinship responder Ron Presely checks a dog in Caleta Tumbes. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake
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Chile's earthquake measured 8.8 on the Richter scale. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake

A tsunami swallowed coastal towns, drowning most life.

Aftershocks from Chile's 2/27/10 quake continued into May.

Fires burned. Oil spilled. Half a million homes are gone.

With 2 million people displaced, streets are now a blur of abandoned and stray animals. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Kinship Circle works with Socorro Animal Chile (SACH) in makeshift clinics along the ravaged coast of Chile.

Some 700,000 animals await food, veterinary aid and refuge.

Evacuees at 30 tent camps need food and vet care for animals.

Locals line-up round the block to bring animals to SACH-Kinship emergency clinics.

Since March 2010, Kinship Circle has worked with SACH — once stopping a tent camp that wanted to shoot its animals instead of see them starve.

We hope to raise funds for spay-neuter to reduce the number of animal victims in future disasters.

Chile has the largest stray population in South America. All Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Kinship responder Sister Michael Marie checks up on Tubul, the puppy rescued with malformed legs.

Animals arrive in wheelbarrows, pototo sacks or blankets for aid at clinics like this basketball court in Tolhuaca.

Dogs comfort each other in a recovery area at the Tolhuaca vet clinic where Kinship Circle responders Peter Crowe and Dr. Dan Meakin assisted SACH vets.

For some, the emergency clinics, provide first-ever treatment from a veterinarian. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

A shaggy wee-warrior type is helped at the Tolhuaca disaster clinic.

A dog brought in with runny nose discharge is examined at the Tolhuaca disaster clinic.

In Talquahano evacuees want to kill their animals rather then let them starve. We rush to meet with the tent-camp "Mayor" to offer alternatives to slaughter.

We fear a similar mentality may spread through Chile's 30 tent compounds. We bring food and veterinary equipment. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Kinship responder Peter Crowe is part of a team that treat animals for lumps, bumps, cancer, infection, parasites, broken bones, etc.

This dog in Fundo dos Robles has a paralyzed hind end. He drags himself around a small garage area. All Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Kinship Circle's Ron Presley (in photo(, Peter Crowe and Traci Dawson build a wheel strap system from scraps on hand, so the dog can get around.

Once outfitted in her wheels, the dog moves freely.

In Perales, Dichato and other shattered towns along Chile's southern coast, children wander. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake

In Lota, we spot a horse rummaging for food in trash piles. He appears injured.

Kids throw rocks and chase the bewildered animal, but we're able to catch and carefully guide him toward our first aid station.

Vets attribute an open wound on Sparkle's back to beatings. His shoes are fastened incorrectly. One vet cleans out the filthy sole area on all four hooves. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

At the all-day Lota clinic we treat 200+ dogs and over 50 cats.

Kinship Circle responder Dr. Dan Meakin examines this beautiful guinea pig, along with dogs, cats and other animal family members at the Lota disaster clinic.

Animals roam leash-less in seaside villages. So they are brought to clinics in sacks, aprons, wheelbarrows…

Some are guided in with belts looped round their necks. Smaller dogs and cats are bundled in sugar sacks.

A SACH veterinarian examines this cat at the Lota disaster clinic.

Lota emergency aid clinic. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

At the Chiguayante disaster clinic, an exam table is plywood atop cinder blocks. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Each surgery station, setup in empty buildings, include a lead vet, assist vet, and an animal handler/attendant.

This kitty suffers from a broken femur bone.

Best buds? Rescued kittens and puppies at SACH volunteer house hang out together. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

A box full of curious pups, at SACH volunteer house.

Kinship Circle's Dr. Madi Graham cradles a sick pup.

"SACH House." is the rental home where Kinship Circle and Socorro Animal Chile are based.

Kinship Circle responder and PIO June Towler comforts a dog in the disaster stricken town of Caleta Tumbes.

Ron Presley, Kinship Circle Safety Officer in Chile, gets friendly with a furry survivor in Caleta Tumbes.

A dog lives in the narrow corridors between tents at a camp for homeless quake survivors in Caleta Tumbes.

SACH and Kinship Circle do back-to-back spays and other surgeries at emergency clinics setup in schools, municipal buildings, basketball courts…even outdoors. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Animals are blanket wrapped and monitored in the post-op recovery area of a Caleta Tumbes animal disaster clinic.

Once safely awakened from anesthesia, animals leave with their people.

In Llico a SACH-Kinship Circle team treats pigs for trichinosis at a roadside farm.

Kinship Circle responder Cheri Deatsch describes the pigs as scruffy and scraped up.

Kinship Circle responder Courtney Chandel with puppy at an evacuee camp.

Caleta Tumbes. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Kinship Circle's Traci Dawson dispenses animal food at a crowded encampment where evacuees live with their animals.

Kinship Circle team at Villa Futura disaster aid clinic.

Kinship Circle's Maureen Valentine and SACH vet Enrique Reyes tend to a cat at Villa Futura clinic.

Animals rescued in Santa Clara include this big, cushy bunny. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Dog with advanced mange wanders roadside, seemingly invisible to passing cars.

Kinship responder Traci Dawson helps dogs get their fair share of food at a trash quarry filled with sick dogs and litters.

A rescued cat in Santa Clara.

Orange cat rescued in Santa Clara, Chile.

Kinship Circle responder June Towler holds this dog as a SACH vet treats the animal in the field. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Though hard to see in photo, this cat tries to clean crude oil off her fur from a quake-related oil spill in Calita il Fiernillo. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010
JAN 2011
As Animals Heal From Quake, Another Big One Hits

► A 7.1 QUAKE STRIKES CHILE ON 1/2/11, about 43 miles northwest of Temuco (U.S.G.S.), some 150 miles north of Concepcion. Kinship Circle quickly contacts Chilean colleagues for damage assessment. They report power and water outages, but no causalities yet. Contacts near the quake's epicenter in Temuco are okay, but we await news from Tirua — a seashore village where Kinship's Sister Michael Marie and Bonnie Morrison reunited with Socorro Animal Chile veterinarians this summer, to assist in ongoing aid clinics for quake-tsunami harmed animals.

Kinship Circle Disaster Animal Response Team spent months along Chile's ravaged coast to rescue, medically treat and feed animals from the estimated 700,000+ harmed in an 8.8 earthquake on 2/27/10. Tsuanmis roared ashore, flattening seaside towns and displacing 2 million people. Aftershocks lasted for months. Some evacuees and animals still live in 2010 evacuee tent camps. We hope, as a Chilean colleague states, that animals rode out this latest earthquake unharmed.

We Bring Aid, But Need Support For Long-Term Care

SUBMITTED BY: Kinship Circle team members Sister Michael Marie, Bonnie Morrison
LOCATION: Santiago, Quidico, Tirua — all cities in Chile

► OVERVIEW: Kinship's Sister Michael Marie and Bonnie Morrison return to Chile June 25, 2010 and bus cross-country to the coastal village of Tirua. They reunite with Socorro Animal Chile (SACH) veterinarians, who are conducting a spay-neuter and first aid clinic for quake-tsunami harmed animals. Bonnie and Sister present a large monetary gift, along with six boxes of medical supplies. Sister, a vet tech, then assists with surgery, while Bonnie serves as a recovery room nurse.

TOP PHOTO: Kinship Circle's Bonnie Morrison (center, holding certificate) and Sister Michael Marie (in nun habit) present certificates in recognition of our gift and ongoing work with Socorro Animal Chile.

Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010
BOTTOM PHOTO, Sister Michael Marie: In Quidico, two people are stationed at each of four surgical tables. We are happy to reunite with our colleagues: Chilean vets Rodrigo Flores, Camilo Salazar, Glenda Cabrera, Enrique, Luis Seguel aka Shiry. SACH leaders Cesar Sanchez (Assistant Coordinator) and Alejandra Cassino are also present to receive Kinship Circle's gift and helping hands.

Since March 2010, Kinship Circle has worked with Socorro Animal Chile — once stopping a tent camp from shooting its animals when evacuees couldn't bear to see them starve. We hope to raise funds for spay-neuter to reduce future animal disaster victims. Chile has the largest stray population in South America.

Chile's line between stray and "owned" animals is hazy. Animals who roam streets by day return home for food at night. They mingle with a large homeless population. Most are unsterilized, and thus perpetuate an endless cycle of breeding. Sterilizing stray and caregiven animals curbs disease outbreak, abuse and suffering — now and when conditions worsen in disasters. With enough funding, post-disaster animal welfare programs can brighten the future for animals.

A dog peeks through an air vent as she awaits spay surgery. Some 700,000 animals suffered in Chile's quake-tsunami. There are likely far more. Chile has one of the largest stray populations in South America.

In April 2010, while searching for an evcuee camp, a Kinship Circle team eyes a puppy in a distant field. Other dogs rush the team for food, but this pup is oddly still. The reason is quickly apparent: He has terribly deformed legs. His eyes are dull and fearful. He can only hobble. Somehow this crippled, starving and sick puppy, dubbed Francisco de Tubul, survived the disaster. READ TUBUL'S STORY

We are told Tubul lives with Chilean veterinarian Glenda Cabrera Espinoza in the Concepcion area. But Tubul's primary "owner" is not confirmed. As Tubul grows, walking may challenge him. Even now, at about 6-months old, he freqently rests after movement. His mange is healed, but his coat is thin and dull. We'll try to track Tubul's progress and report any news about treatment and healing.

Tubul and Bonnie
IN 3 PHOTOS ABOVE: Kinship Circle Disaster Management Director Bonnie Morrison greets Tubul in Chile. Tubul appears happy, despite his disabilities. Food is a big draw! Tubul lays with a bowl lodged between his front paws and won't budge till it's licked clean. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Tent Camps May Kill Animals Instead Of Let Them Starve

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Talquahano, Chile

An evacuee camp wants to kill its dogs. We meet with the camp's "Mayor" to urge alternatives. We fear a similar mentality may spread through Chile's 30 encampments. People who lost everything in an 8.8 quake and tsunami can't feed themselves. They don't want to watch their animals starve to death.

NO KILLING TODAY: We arrive with food and veterinary equipment. Tiny wooden cabins now replace a few tents. We walk down aisles past military troops, to meet with the camp's Mayor. She tells us why these displaced Chileans may resort to bloodshed:
  • Too many dogs roam the narrow corridors of this tent city.
  • People can't even feed themselves. How can they afford their dogs?
  • Strays drawn to the camp mix with caregiven dogs to boost numbers even more.
  • No one disposes feces. This is a public health concern.
  • Animals live in tents so tightly packed, there is no outdoor space.
  • Some animals cause conflict with other dogs.

People here are tossed together by disaster. Help doesn't come quickly. Still, most love their animals and welcome our visits. But despair propels them to euthanize their own animals, rather than watch them starve. This speaks volumes about their plight…and how the world seems to have forgotten them.

  • Kinship Circle teams follow a daily route to regularly treat mange, fleas, parasites and distribute food. However, we cannot leave full unopened food bags because evacuees are likely to sell the food, rather than feed their animals.

  • During tent city rounds, more vet care requests are recorded for another day. This lets them better manage their time and organize supplies.

  • Kinship Circle teams build a dog "corral" area within tent cities, to contain dogs.

  • We work with tent city "mayors" to implement a poop-and-scoop program.
  1. One translator per team: Kinship Circle's Maureen Valentine, an American in Santiago, is willing to move to Concepcion to commit to a day or two a week. SACH sent an email alert some time ago asking for literate translators within SACH. We can post for volunteers at the universities, etc.

  2. A supply of plastic grocery bags for measuring out food for evacuees' animals. Even bags are scarce! We can cut off tops of large plastic jugs to use as scoops. We can seek donations from grocery stores or manufacturers.

  3. Poop bags and scoop/rakes. We are unsure how viable this is, due to theft.

Hope For Some, Merciful End For Others

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Yungay and Fundo dos Robles, Chile

► OVERVIEW: We travel inland some two hours to Yungay, a town near the Andes Mountains about 100 kms from the Chilean/Argentine border. We are here to setup a treatment clinic in the fire hall.

► ACTIVITIES: Along the way we deliver food to Anita Morenog, whose farm serves as an animal sanctuary. She has resorted to feeding dogs oats and grains. Anita shelters about five three-legged dogs, roughly 25 other dogs, and several cats on her fenced property. We examine every dog and treat for fleas and parasites. Each is marked with a new collar to discern which dogs are treated. The vets set up tables staffed with a Kinship Circle volunteer to help handle animals.

Dog On Wheels
Dog On Wheels IN 3 PHOTOS ABOVE: Ron Presley, in Fundo dos Robles, Chile with Kinship Circle, has a soft spot for this dog with a paralyzed hind end. The dog uses front legs to drag herself around. Ron, Peter Crowe and Traci Dawson craft a wheel "strap system" from parts on hand. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Dog On Wheels Once outfitted with wheels, the dog moves freely. Her first stop: The communal water bucket for a long drink. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

With Anita in tow, we drive onward to Yungay for a scheduled treatment clinic. A huge line of people greets us upon arrival. We quickly erect four vet stations while Anita manages the many locals with their animals. Kinship's Maureen Valentine races between tables translating Spanish-English.

Dr Dan treats pup Dan Meakin, a veterinarian, is key to a team that sees over 400 animals. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

► LONG LINES FORM OUTSIDE OUR DISASTER VET CLINICS: In Fundo dos Robles, we treat roughly 30 dogs and some cats. In Yungay, we see more than 400 animals. Among them are a German Shepherd whose caretaker accidentally sliced off part of the dog's tail with a machete when clearing grass. The dog arrives in great pain and sees Kinship veterinarian Dr. Dan Meakin, with June Towler assisting. Once constrained, Dr. Dan mildly sedates the dog and June preps syringes. Dan freezes the wound area to surgically level jagged edges. Traci Dawson applies pressure to stop bleeding. Post amputation, the dog's tail is sewn and vet-wrapped. The caregivers comfort their groggy dog until he is back on his feet.

A cat with a damaged eye escapes when the veterinarian turns for supplies and the cat's guardian lets go. In a flash, the cat vanishes beyond firehall walls. Horrified, the vet activates a search party. Kinship Circle's Peter Crowe scans nearby streets to no avail. The cat's caregiver is nearly inconsolable. We hope the cat is safely recovered, but cannot do much more while managing a busy clinic.

At Dr. Dan's station, we treat a healthy black-white cat with a cheek growth. A young man and his mother tell us the lump fluctuates in size and fluid squirts when the cat scratches it. They are concerned their adored cat has cancer. Dr. Dan alleviates their fears and gives them anti-parasite meds. The son, a Sacramento, Calif. student married to an American, speaks excellent English. He offers to be our translator while visiting family in Chile. Kinship''s Maureen Valentine is delighted to get help translating instructions between vet tables!

boxer TOP PHOTO: We see a beautiful boxer with a large lump on his head. His caregivers worry it might be cancerous, but it is a benign condition boxers are predisposed to.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Fabian Mardones helps Kinship Circle as a translator during vet clinic. Team members, from lt to rt: Ron Presley, Dr. Madi Graham DVM, June Towler, Maureen Valentine, Dr. Dan Meakin DVM. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake 2010

One flea-infested Cocker Spaniel has a foul ear infection. His toenails are so long they've curled into his paw pads. Dr. Dan cuts and extracts the nails from the pads. Through our translator Fabian, Dr. Dan educates the dog's elderly caregiver on ear and nail maintenance. The dog leaves with antibiotics and anti-parasite meds.

After clinic concludes, Kinship IC Traci Dawson and several SACH vets go to a dog in an alley. She is old with a dramatically swollen, mangled hind paw. We examine her under better light at the firehall, but everyone recognizes she is beyond repair. In agreement that euthanasia is the most humane option, June strokes and kisses her head. Kinship veterinarian Madi Graham performs the euthanasia as Traci and June quietly talk to the dog. Tears flow, but this deeply suffering dog deserves mercy.

Kinship Circle's Traci Dawson comforts a dog as the suffering animal leaves this world. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Tsunami Swept Towns Struggle To Care For Animals

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Dichato and Perales, Chile

Kinship Circle's Traci Dawson assists surgeries in emergency clinics with Chilean veterinarians. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

► OVERVIEW: Kinship Circle's Dr. Dan Meakin and Chilean vets take Lykia, a German Shep with gaping back wounds, and a broken-leg kitten to the vet university clinic in Concepcion. Other team members travel to four camps for displaced locals in Dichato.

► ACTIVITIES: We check on the badly damaged town of Dichato. Homes are gone, with some rebuilding and cleanup underway. Our next stop, Perales, is roughly one hour up the coast from Dichato. The tsunami washed out a main road, so we climb a dirt back road over the mountain. It is so muddy we swap our van for the Chilean vets' covered pickup. KC's Traci, June, Madi, Ron and Pete squish between dog food and supplies. We drop food at several farms along the way, and Chilean vets Georgia and Enrique stop at one farm to deworm and vaccinate a litter of puppies. At the first evacuee camp, we pass out animal food and treat roughly 50 dogs and several cats. By nightfall, with just a few food bags left, we are unable to visit the next three camps. We decide to return another day, due to wretched road conditions.

We see many injuries from alleged beatings and dogfights at this small camp with an estimated 50 dogs and few cats. Apparently, some men at this camp beat dogs. Children kick and hit dogs. Since all dogs are not fed, fights erupt over food. Unfed dogs are strays who wander into the camp in search of food and companionship. People want them to leave, so they withhold food and beat them… A sweet young girl fears other dogs who pick on her. She has deep bites in the inguinal (groin) region and along her legs and ear. Vets sedate her to treat the wounds. Kinship's Maureen Valentine and a Chilean vet escort the dog and her guardian home. They urge the dog's caregiver to let the dog recover indoors and not roam the camp.

Kinship Circle's Peter Crowe and Ron Presley (rt photo, above) are told this abused Dalmatian is unwanted at this encampment. Then why is he tethered? The skeletal young male is severely beaten and unable to lower his hind leg. We find him tied behind a truck. The dog, understandably skittish, warms to gentle voices and patient hands. We resolve to find a safe place for him, contingent upon whether camp tenets let us take him. Anita Morenog — whose Yungay farm is an animal sanctuary — says she'll take in the abused Dalmatian. But when Kinship's Peter and Dan return for the dog, who is able to use his leg by then, they cannot negotiate the dog's release (short of stealing him). SACH vets intend to check on this Dalmatian on each return visit. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsuanmi 2010

beagle love
This beagle pup is one of many unwanted dogs at a tent camp that abuses animals, so we bring him back to our base camp. As we prepare to leave the tent camp, this curious beagle wants to climb into the truck with us. Kinship Circle's Madi and Peter are distraught over leaving the puppy at an evacuee camp that doesn't want him. But unbeknownst to them, other team members have already arranged to take im. With the little "stowaway" tucked safely into the pick-up, Pete and Madi continue to lament the dog's uncertain fate. Then, once back at the spot we'd parked our van, the team surprises them with the happy beagle. Peter is so overjoyed, he decides to adopt the beagle. All Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Horses, Dogs And Cats Roam In Lota

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Lota, Chile

► OVERVIEW: Since the quake, all mines are closed in this mining town. Lota has the highest unemployment rate in Chile. The jobless status of many citizens leads to alcoholism and degeneracy here.

injured horse
Kinship Circle's Traci Dawson and a SACH vet lead this wounded horse into Lota. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile

We head to the town's basketball courts to establish a first aid site. On the way, we spot a horse who appears injured. A kid chases the horse and throws rocks at him as we pull up. We capture the horse and SACH vets, along with Kinship's Dr. Dan Meakin and Dr. Madi Graham, treat him. We learn that Sparkle's caretaker beats him. SACH negotiates a $200 "purchase" of Sparkle, whom they hope to transport to a military compound to live safely with other cared for horses.

injured horse SACH and Kinship Circle vets attribute an open wound on Sparkle's back to beatings. His shoes are fastened incorrectly with three nails, rather than the standard three. One vet cleans out the filthy sole area and top of the frog area on all four hooves. While tending to Sparkle's wounds, Chilean vets emit a sound that resembles "Sooooo" in calm tones to soothe the horse. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile

► ACTIVITIES AND ANIMAL IMPACTS IN LOTA: Four treatment tables are each staffed with vets and Kinship animal handlers, to treat mange, ear infections, fleas/parasites, distemper, allergies, eye and dental issues, mammary cancer, nose cancer, TVT, and one colon-rectal prolapse with rectal laceration. Some surgeries are done on a pickup truck tailgate. There is nothing vets can do for TVT (Transmissible Venereal Tumor) cases of the genitals or nose. Chemotherapy, the only cure, is not feasible. TVT animals painfully decline and are highly contagious. It is a horrendous situation and the teams are very frustrated.

Lota disaster clinic
During this six hour clinic, we treat over 200 dogs and more than 50 cats. A municipality rep records 93 residents with animals and numerous strays. More than 250 animals are noted. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile

SACH and Kinship Circle treats hundreds of animals at the disaster clinic in Lota, even a sweet little guinea pig!

(c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Dogs Culled Here, A Heroic Local Tries To Save Them

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Coronel, Chile

► OVERVIEW: We awaken to find a parvo puppy dead and survivors in decline. By mid-morning we have to euthanize the little white pup, whose seizures lead to a coma. Everyone is very sad. We bury the two in the backyard, beside their brother.

► ACTIVITIES: A team of 9 SACH-Kinship members attend a meeting with Senora Leticia Quezada Jerez in Coronel. Since the quake-tsunami, strays have quadrupled. Senora Jerez recently secured homes for some, but later learned they'd been shot or beaten dead. Chief of Investigations Hector Espinosa Valenzuela, Prefecta Provincial Concepcion, claims police do not kill animals. But eyewitnesses attest differently. Senora Jerez had a necropsy done. Findings show thoracic trauma, suggesting the dog was kicked to death.

Kinship Circle responder Peter Crowe coaxes a dog cowering in trash piles. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

We attempt to visit Coronel's tiny municipal shelter, but a security guard blocks entry. The shelter is situated within a walled compound. We hear no evidence of life. SACH and Kinship Circle want to investigate allegations against this shelter, but authorities forbid it. It is thought that the municipality captures dogs to kill them. SACH believes we can change this mindset via contact with government health services. It is also assumed that police investigators ignore most cruelty cases.

One officer threatens Ms. Jerez (lt photo above) by phone: "Get rid of your dogs or we'll kill them." They stop her distribution of food. When confronted, this officer denies it. We express concern for Ms. Jerez' safety. She admits fear, but won't stop fighting to save animals. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake

► HOW SACH AND KINSHIP CIRCLE CAN HELP: We can advise veterinary strategies as alternatives to culling, plus highlight a humane education plan and improvements for the existing shelter. If animals are treated, this resolves many health issues. Kinship Circle can also help facilitate deployment of a spay/neuter organization to curb populations. During our meeting in Seniora Jerez's home, we experience a 6.4 earthquake. We "enjoy the ride" and resume when the ground stops rolling. In Coronel, 78 dogs are rescued, many cats (no concrete number), with 59 animals presently under care.


So Many Animals, So Little Funding

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Chiguayante and Caleta Tumbes, Chile

► OVERVIEW: We assist at a spay-neuter clinic in Chiguayante. Nine veterinarians — Carmillo, Shery, Laura, Rodrigues, Georgia, Enriques, a student vet, and Kinship's Madi Graham, DVM and Dan Meakin DVM — are on hand. Also present: Kinship's vet tech Penny Konz, responders Traci Dawson, Ron Presley and June Towler, translator Maureen Valentine, eight locals, and the community building's owner, Hector.

clinic surgeries clinic surgery caleta tumbes In an empty community building, we set up surgical tables separated by plastic curtains. The room's right side is transformed into a prep/exam area. The back left corner becomes a sterilization station, with the front left corner designated for recovery. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

► ACTIVITIES: A critical supply shortage forces us to become very resourceful. For example, when we run out of saline drip, we resort to salines intended for other purposes. We scrounge up used saline bottles with traces of saline left. In the prep area, an animal is examined, sprayed for fleas, sedated, shaved, disinfected, anesthetized, and tagged with a number, name, and caregiver's name. The animal next goes to a sterilized operating table with several vets. One performs surgery, another assists, and one more acts as vet tech and post-op disinfection. Animals are monitored in a heated post-surgery area.

A mother and daughter bring in a kitten for partial tail amputation. A SACH vet suggests the kitten undergo spay surgery while sedated. The girl freaks out. She hits, kicks, and spits on the vet. SACH head coordinator Alejandra Cassino calms the child down, only to see her temper flare once again. Mom does not intervene. Chilean culture supports an anti-sterilization attitude… A local brings in a pregnant stray. Kinship Circle's Dan Meakin, DVM, performs a North American spay — based on a center incision, as opposed to the Chilean side-incision spay. The anesthetized dog is injected with a solution to kill unborn pups. The dog is fine, but we are sad over the loss. Still, the streets are so dense with animals who fight starvation, mange, TVT and other diseases, the decision is understandable.

Breathing Life Back Into A Dog
Madi breathes life into dog
A dog stops breathing during spay surgery under anesthesia. Kinship Circle's Madi Graham, DVM performs emergency assisted breathing through an intubation tube until the dog breathes on her own again. Gratefully, the dog recovers. Photo (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

clinic surgeries Innumerable dogs roam evacuee camps where military troops are ever present. Caleta Tumbes, Chile. Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

With Vet Supplies Nearly Gone, We Improvise

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Concepcion, Chile & Tumbes, Chile

► OVERVIEW: Kinship Circle team members Peter Crowe, Dr. Madi Graham, June Towler and Traci Dawson arrive in Concepcion at 8:00 am. Team members Ron Presley and Dr. Dan Meakin fly in by 12:30 pm. Later that afternoon, the team assembles to travel to Tumbes for an all-day emergency veterinary clinic.

dying puppy

► ACTIVITIES: At the volunteer house SACH veterinarian Laura holds a dying puppy, one of four rescued pups who live at the house. One passed away the previous night and now this little guy has seizures. They euthanize him within the first 15 minutes we are there. Chilean vets suspect the puppies have Parvo. A German Shepherd, Lykia, recuperates from what resembles bullet wounds on her back left hindquarter. However, x-rays and bloodwork later show Lykia has a tumor. At university clinic, Kinship Circle's Dr. Dan Meakin removes the tumor and sews Lykia up. She is also undernourished, with dislocated ribs.

Because we've been unable to raise funds necessary to erect a temp tent clinic-shelter, the worst-case animals join vets and volunteers at our base house. One of two kittens recovering here undergoes leg x-rays that reveal two breaks. Dr. Dan and SACH vet Rodrigues later insert a metal pin into her bone.

But supplies are scarce, so they creatively build a pin from a hypodermic needle. While the makeshift pin works quite well, the shortage of vet supplies and equipment in Chile can be daunting.

Later that afternoon we depart for Tumbes, where two veterinarians hold a spay-neuter clinic. Surgeries are performed in an unoccupied house damaged in the quake. Sheets hang as room dividers between surgical and recovery areas. Local volunteers handle administrative tasks and two vets perform spays.

Tubul's Story: Born On A Crash And A Wave

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch
LOCATION: Tubul, Chile. April 26, 2010

A TWO AND A HALF POUND MIRACLE: The floppy-eared puppy was born just days before an 8.8 earthquake and tsunami swept over Chile's coastal towns. We don't know how he escaped a tsunami swell that left 6-foot water lines. We don't know where he hid as structures collapsed into rubble. We do know the puppy dubbed Francisco de Tubul, found in the village of Tubul, did it alone. Perhaps his mother and littermates died in the disaster? Somehow, a crippled and starving puppy stayed alive.

TWISTED LEGS AND A BELLY OF WORMS: While searching for the town's tent camp, we spot a female dog and her pup scavenging garbage. We stop to feed them and eye another puppy in a distant field. We wonder why this pup does not want our food.

We learn why as soon as we reach him. This dog has terribly deformed legs. His eyes are dull and fearful. He tries to hobble away, but is overcome by hunger. He lies on his belly to eat. His can't bear weight on his front legs. The pup's paws splay out at 90-degree angles. He limps on his inside lower legs while his paws flip out uselessly. We immediately decide to take him back to Concepcion. He'll surely die if left on his own. In addition to malformed legs, the pup's worm-filled belly is severely distended. His hair and skin are scrappy with mange.

Children watch the rescue. One of our vets asks them to name the pup. They pick "Francisco." We add "de Tubul" to recall his birthplace and rescue.

Exams bring good news for two rescues. At the University of Concepcion, a veterinary ophthalmology specialist examines the little dog Pirate's eye wound. The vet believes antibiotics can heal his him.

Francisco de Tubul travels with us to the University of San Sebastian, where most SACH vets are alumni. His twisted limbs are x-rayed and several teaching vets and students stop by to view his deformity and x-rays. The primary veterinarian even takes photos to document Tubul's case. X-rays reveal that the bent-in limbs, which force Tubul to walk upon his knuckles, are due to malnutrition.

Tubul, born of the quake-tsunami, may heal with leg splints and good nutrition. He needs ongoing vet care until healed enough for adoption.


APRIL 25 2010
Cat Survives Tsunami On Roof, Quake Breaks Dog's Leg

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: El Bajo and Perales, Chile

► EL BAJO: Today we're treated to a first shower since arrival in Chile on April 18! Rodrigo, a SACH vet, kindly offers his home shower, since our volunteer base still lacks hot water… In the afternoon we travel north of Concepcion to coastal El Bajo. The van crawls gravel roads up steep mountains, but some team members must walk alongside it to lessen the load.

In El Bajo, we treat about 30 dogs and one cat who had taken refuge under a home and injured her ear. We also hand out food for animals. Most residents bring their dogs to our yellow van, nicknamed the Partridge Family Bus, for examination. As we drive toward the next village of Perales, outlying residents call to us to come treat their dogs. People wait at the end of their driveways with dogs leashed on twine.

► PERALES: Here, homes are leveled and locals have not begun to rebuild. We learn that villages to the south are summer resort destinations. They receive aid before economically depressed areas like Perales. At the tent camp, SACH vets treat a 4-year old Greyhound with an abscess several inches beneath his muzzle. His guardians consider killing the dog because of this abscess, but vets lance and drain it. Our operating table is the back of an old pickup truck parked near the camp entrance.

greyhound Additional care is given to a Greyhoud mix who suffered a broken leg and injured eye in the earthquake. He has gone untreated since the disaster, so vets carefully check his recovery. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

woman and cat

► BECAUSE NINO IS ALIVE: A woman beckons Kinship Circle's Sister Michael Marie, a vet tech, into her tent. She points to a longhaired beauty poised in the corner. The woman explains in broken English that her cat Nino survived the tsunami by climbing onto the roof of her home. We have no idea how this 10-pound cat withstood a tsunami that swept others to sea. The woman is so proud of Nino, she cannot tell her story without tears. Now Nino won't leave the tent because he is afraid of dogs. The cat clings to the woman's side. But she doesn't mind — because Nino is alive.

Llico Recalls New Orleans Following Katrina

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Llico and Tubul, Chile

► LLICO: This morning in Llico we encounter a celebratory scene. National radio and local TV are present to donate two boats to replace vessels lost in "the wave." The KC/SACH team is to be interviewed after the boat gift ceremony. As we wait, the team surveys damage to the town. It rivals New Orleans' most devastated areas following Katrina. An entire neighborhood is wiped out. Only home foundations remain. Ox carts facilitate cleanup at one home. We feel as if we've stepped back in time.

Our wait for media grows too long, so we set out for the next village of Tubul. While searching for the evacuee camp there, the team notices a female dog and one of her pups eating from a pile of smoldering garbage. We stop to feed them and eye another puppy in a distant field. We wonder why the pup does not come to the food along with several other roaming dogs… READ TUBUL'S STORY

Cheri Deatsch and sick pig On the way back to Concepcion we stop at a roadside farm to treat dogs and a cat for parasites. We also treat two scraped-up brown pigs (in photo with Kinship responder Cheri Deatsch) for trichinosis.

(c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

The Great Wave That Devoured Chile's Southern Coast

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Quidico, Tirua, and Llico - Villages of Southern Chile

► NEW QUAKE RATTLES CONCEPCION: We rise at 6:00 for a long drive to southern Chile. While packing gear, a 6.1 earthquake strikes Concepcion. The house shakes items off shelves. The ground curves and waves beneath our feet. Courtney Chandel, Kinship's safety officer, orders everyone out of the house. Cesar Sanchez (SACH) joins us a few moments later, mostly concerned about our reaction to the quake. Apparently Chileans are accustomed to shifting earth plates.

We still manage to depart early enough to avoid a traffic lock on the sole bridge that runs across the Bio Bio River in Concepcion. At rush hour, Concepcion implements a type of contraflow. In the morning, three lanes enter the city while just one exits. At the bridge, we see some of Concepcion's worst quake damage: An apartment building literally cracked in half. Of its 100 occupants, only eight died.

At the top of the hill we find an enclave of tents and roughly 12 dogs. Two have gaping wounds that vets treat with antiparasitic/antibacterial spray. We leave the displaced people with bags of dog food.

► LAND OF THE MAPUCHE: We are warned to stay close together when navigating the next hill on foot in an area home to thieves. We walk deep into Chile's most impoverished region, past fields with sheep, pigs, a few horses, and many cows. These large outdoor animals appear in good condition. This part of southern Chile is the land of the Mapuche (land people), indigenous tribes engaged in a land struggle with the government.

► QUIDICO AND TIRUA: Five hours later, we arrive in the village of Quidico and let townspeople know we'll return in one hour to treat animals. We proceed to Tirua, another caleta ravaged in the tsunami. Homes, restaurants and a boarding schools are erased entirely. We see evidence of the 20-30 meter wave on a nearby hill. Trees coated in saltwater are tangled and dying. A car is stranded in the bay.

Rodrigo, a SACH vet here when the quake hit, says casualties are few because the "wise grandfathers" warned families to take refuge in the hills. Three dogs trail us along the pier for a view of the blank landscape. We then speak to the village president.
Upon return to Quidico, 35-40 dogs and their caregivers line a dirt road in wait for vet care. Our exam table is a door-sized board laid over two sawhorses. We conduct exams, de-wormings and flea sprays in a yard. Each animal gets a blue SACH collar with his/her name. Cases range from bite wounds and arthritis to eye problems, kennel cough, mange and other conditions.

During the clinic, a couple arrives with a black lab in a wheelbarrow. At first glance, the dog seems frightened by the chaos. Then her front leg is lifted to reveal a 20 cm laceration on her stomach/groin area. Rodrigo and Shiry, two of the vets, wheel the dog back to the couple's house to suture his wounds. Despite a lack of supplies, the veterinarians close the wound with non-disposable sutures and local anesthesia. They provide antibiotics and promise to contact a nurse in the area to later remove the sutures. No veterinary services are available anywhere in this region.

At the clinic we treat approximately 100 dogs and cats. A line of people and pets seems unending. Dogs, who don't ordinarily where collars or leashes here, are guided in with belts looped around their necks. Smaller dogs and cats are bundled in sugar sacks. One cat shows up in a small birdcage.

Three and a half hours plus one dog fight later, all caregiven and stray animals are treated. On the way out of town, we stop to examine a steer with an eye tumor. He suffers from a carcinoma, common in farmed animals with white faces, that calls for ongoing treatment over a long period — a commitment the farmer is unlikely to make. Otherwise, the steer is in good shape and the farmer will probably continue to work the animal without treatment, due to lack of veterinary care here.

That night, we sleep at a shabby school in Llico, another tsunami ruined caleta. Though we arrive near midnight, the school's caretaker greets us at the door. The school is only blocks from the sea. Yesterday's strong aftershock prompts Cesar to warn that a tsunami could overtake the school. We plan to drive quickly to high ground in the event of an earthquake. On that note, we settle in for the night.

Government Meeting And Escort To Evacuee Tent Camps

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
LOCATION: Concepcion and Punta Tumbes, in Chile

► OVERVIEW: Kinship Circle's Cheri Deatsch and Sister Michael Marie, along with SACH's Cesar Sanchez and Luis (Shiry) Seguel DVM, meet with the Bio Bio Region Minister of Health, Dr. Mario Fernandez. Also present is Michel Bernardo, Kinship Circle's direct liaison with the regional Ministry of Health.

At the meeting, Dr. Fernandez tells us he supports our work for the animals. He asks about long and short-range goals. We explain that Kinship Circle assists animals affected in disasters and mobilizes volunteers and supplies. We are in Chile to work in tandem with SACH. We explain that long-term goals are contingent upon assessment from the next team that arrives May 1, 2010.

I inquire about use of a government vehicle. Dr. Fernandez states he will consider a written request from SACH. He is also willing to review a Kinship Circle letter that asks for clearance of veterinary supplies at customs. Stocks are low, but Chile basically bans entry of animal-related goods into the country. He says all items must be approved by SAG (the Chilean equivalent of the FDA).

After the meeting we pose for photos to appear on the Ministry of Health website. An interview with Cesar will run with the photos. When we step outside, Mr. Bernardo comments that we must have spoken highly of him because Dr. Fernandez offered him a promotion! He seems pleased with the outcome of our meeting.

Meanwhile, Kinship's Courtney Chandel and Penny Konz assist Dr. Laura Floreers with tasks to make our volunteer home base more habitable. So far, we have running water and electricity. Pipes destroyed in the earthquake prevent us from use of propane to heat water. We get by with an electric teakettle.

Caleta Tumbes Kinship Circle responders Penny Konnz and Cheri Deatsch encounter typical tent-camp chaos when teams bring first aid and food for animals. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake 2010

Caleta Tumbes Pekinese mix with hurt eye Kinship Circle's Sister Michael Marie coaxes out a timid dog at an evacuee camp.

BOTTOM PHOTO, PUNTA TUMBES: That afternoon a team with 6 SACH reps and 4 veterinarians travels to Campemento Tumbes Alto above Punta Tumbes. We retrieve a dog with an injured eye. Dr. Flores sees that the small Pekinese mix with protruding eyes has a seed husk, with long sharp points, embedded in his eye. Removal is difficult but the patient sits quietly. We take the dog, later named Pirate, with us for more veterinary eye care.

Further up mountain, a camp situated in a clearing of trees is guarded by soldiers in full uniform with automatic weapons strapped across their chests. Here, some 40 tents are not the usual government issued models from countries like Qatar, Japan and China. Instead, shanties are strung together by whatever materials occupants can find: tarps, garbage bags, cardboard, corrugated tin, plastic. It is very cold and residents light fires outside their ramshackle dwellings.

Residents mob us. Dogs are everywhere! At least 50 roam an area no larger than 2-3 acres, filled with tents. The scene is chaotic. Two alpha males in the pack vie for dominance. Fights ensue with humans jumping in to chase off dogs. Vets manage to dispense dewormer to all and ivermectin to about 30 dogs and cats. We stay after dark, treating animals in the dim light from our yellow bus.

Dogs Huddle In Tsunami Wrecked Homes

SUBMITTED BY: Cheri Deatsch, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
Sister Michael Marie, Incident Command Officer in Chile, Kinship Circle
LOCATION: Talcahuana, Chile

► OVERVIEW: Kinship Circle Incident Commander, Sister Michael Marie, and Public Information Officer, Cheri Deatsch — with SACH's Cesar Sanchez — meet with Michael Bernardo, a Ministry of Health authority in the Bio Bio Region. The team is escorted in a government vehicle to two evacuee camps.

Caleta Tumbes Kinship Circle team #3 members Dr. Madi Graham, June Towler, Peter Crowe and Ron Presley with Caleta Tumbes earthquake refugees and a few of their animals. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake 2010

► CALETA TUMBES: First, we travel out the Talcahuana peninsula through the immense Armada base to the "fishing village" of Caleta Tumbes. Over 100 dogs roam narrow passageways between 40 large tents at this encampment. Mostly beagle-hound and German Shepherd mixes, the dogs remain with homeless humans and are in better shape than malnourished and mange dogs seen elsewhere. A powerful tsunami, what villagers call "the wave," swamped this area, but some structures show evidence of recent repair. At first, dogs fed on fish strewn in the streets and rubble.

A woman in charge of the encampment offers a building where SACH can sterilize area dogs. The building, damaged by the wave, still stands. A raised wood floor is sturdy and broken out windows are covered with clear plastic. Evacuees say they'll clean out the building's single room, previously used for storage. They'll borrow nextdoor electricity and bring water in portable tanks with faucets. The building's dirt entryways would wash out with rain and ought to be semi-restored before a vet team attempts surgeries there.

► TALCAHUANA AREA: We visit another encampment with about 20 shanty huts of tin, cardboard and plastic. Half of approximately 20 dogs (mostly Pekingese and one German Shepherd pup) greet us upon entry. The settlement leader tells us displaced people will stay here two to three more weeks, then relocate to Caleta Tumbes to inhabit one-room board houses under construction a few yards from the bay.

A prominent military presence pervades nearly all tent camps. The quake and tsunami have stirred discontent and unrest. We do not, however, witness any disruptions.

We proceed down a coastal mountain to another encampment. Continuing on foot, we're suddenly immersed in a street demonstration. Villagers gather around the recently uprighted hull of a giant fishing ship that rode the wave into town. They are angry that the ship company has yet to move the hulking structure. They light a bonfire and appear agitated. When the tsunami dragged the ship inland, it cut power lines. It will cut them again on its return to sea. Electricity cannot be restored until the entire process ends. Television crews are on site, along with local politicians and military troops.

► TALCAHUANO: Kinship Circle's Courtney Chandel and Penny Konz join two veterinarians on house calls. In Talcahuano, they investigate the sudden death of three kittens. Five kittens from two separate litters remain alive. Their caregiver describes symptoms related to toxicity death. We find a very poisonous plant in the backyard. A necropsy is planned for one. The other five are doing well.

euthanizing distemper dog in agony A DOG'S AGONY ENDS: We find a 5-6 month old dog prone on a soaked mattress in a gutted bayside home. Vets examine the dehydrated dog. Maggots crawl from his nose. Yellow-green discharge oozes from his eyes and nose. He's barely conscious, just twitches, and appears to have distemper. Someone tried to euthanize him with Valium and Tramadol, but did not stay to verify death. Humane euthanasia is the best option. At least this forgotten soul is cradled in kindness.

cheri with puppies in rubble ONE DIES, BUT NEW LIVES RISE FROM THE RUBBLE: As team members struggle to contain tears, a black-tan puppy stumbles through the door. We find 7 more littermates in rubble behind this house. They tumble over each another and some hide under the uprooted home. We also feed a cat atop a roof who suffers from an eye infection.

Fur-Less In A Field Of Mange
SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
Traci Dawson, Incident Command Officer in Chile, Kinship Circle
LOCATION: Villa Futura, Chile

► OVERVIEW & ACTIVITIES: Kinship Circle's Traci Dawson, June Towler, Shawndra Michell, Maureen Valentine and Byron Wilkes work in a disaster clinic with 3 Chilean veterinarians, student vets, and 6 volunteers from Animal Dignity, a SACH group. Kinship team members unload dog/cat food and notify locals about vet aid. The turnout is staggering. Three veterinary stations prove insufficient, so 2 more are added. The moment a table opens, the next animal moves in.

june towler assists SACH vet Vets check eyes, teeth, ears, glands, neck, spine, organs… They look for flea-parasite infestation. Skin disorders are prevalent, as are wounds and bites. Flees literally drop off animals treated with "pest spray". Above Kinship Circle PIO June Towler assists a SACH vet. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Kinship Circle's translator, Maureen Valentine, tells SACH veterinarians how impressed we are with their diligence. Many treat animals without breaks for food or rest. (On a humorous note, a rumor spreads that Kinship Circle is on location with Animal Planet to film a TV show!) The clinic runs out of pest spray, gloves and paper towels. Though Kinship Circle donates latex gloves, there still aren't enough. More than 200 animals are treated today. Emergency clinics give SACH an opportunity to educate people about sterilization. Pamphlets are available at each station. There are virtually no neutered dogs in Chile due to cultural ojection.

A local asks us to check a trash quarry where strays are known to gather. We find an otherworldly scene of fur-less dogs and litters in advanced stages of mange. One has a gaping hole in his penal shaft, without much time to live. For vets to inject the mange antidote ivermectin, the dog must be restrained. This will hurt his raw mange sores, but there is no other way to save him.

In photo montage below, Kinship Circle IC Traci Dawson risks limbs in a vicious tackle to subdue the dog. Fortunately, thick bite gloves and handling skills let her escape injury while the vets treat the dog.

Numerous puppies play next to a decomposing dog. We remove the carcass and disinfect the area. There are so many dogs here, they'll require ongoing first aid in the field. In photos below, Chilean veterinarian Luis Seguel Olea, or "Shiry" as everyone calls him, pauses to comfort one of the dogs.

Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

A Dog's Resilience Shows: All Animals Want To Live

SUBMITTED BY: Byron Wilkes, Safety Officer in Chile
LOCATION: Caleta Tumbes, Chile

dobie near death SALVATION FOR A STREET ANIMAL: A Dobie is found 40-50 pounds underweight, barely able to move. His teeth are worn to nubs from rock chewing. Starved and dehydrated, he seems beyond hope.

A SACH-Kinship Circle team spots a Doberman Pincher slumped outside the locked gate of a house alongside a road. He is emaciated. We pull over and walk back a quarter mile to the dog. He doesn't trust our well-intentioned approach, yet lets us come near when he sniffs food.

We ask the home owner what he knows about the animal. The man says the Dobie has laid there for over a week. He stresses his dislike for street dogs and refuses to feed him. Without fast action on our end, this Dobie is dead. But we are at the end of a long field day, with no space in the van. No equipment to humanely transport him. No medication to stabilize him. Given our lack of resources, we decide to leave him with plenty of food and water and return for him tomorrow. We feel that one more night won't cause the dog to leave his chosen spot. SACH director Alejandra Cassino is already on the phone to find foster or adoptive care. She locates caregivers willing to take him.

Early the next morning, Kinship Circle responders Traci Dawson and Byron Wilkes go back to the location with three Chilean veterinarians. The Dobie seems happy to see us, but also senses Something Big about to happen. He begins to move down the hill, away from the gate and house. The hill ends at a congested road. It is Easter morning and traffic is thick. Byron and Traci head straight for the street to slow cars. Then Byron then stays below the Dobie, forcing him to retreat toward Traci at the top of the hill. Despite his frailty, the Dobie eludes us for 20 minutes. Finally Traci, Byron and one of the vets get a slip leash around his neck.

IV meds for dobie Once secure, the dog relaxes in his rescuers' arms and doesn't resist vets when they insert an anesthesia needle.

The team vigilantly monitors vital signs while veterinarians cut away hair on the dog's leg to attach an antibiotics drip.

The Dobie is carefully lifted into the van. We don't know how much time the dog needs for anesthesia recovery, so we must transfer him to a safe site as swiftly as possible. His immune system is already compromised. Previous trauma, combined with the rescue process, could result in his death. We go directly to the foster home where a bed awaits inside an enclosure that opens into a backyard. The foster home is situated in a compound near a Chilean Navy Hospital, so medical care is close at hand. During the 20-minute drive, we hold the saline/antibiotics bag high above the dog and monitor his breathing.

At the foster home, his vitals are stable and he sleeps soundly. We rig a system to hang the fluid pouch so meds steadily flow into his system. About two hours post-anesthesia, a groggy boy awakens ready to eat. He gobbles food with street-dog gusto, as if unsure when he'll eat again.

Byron offers the caregiver money to defray costs for food and meds. The woman turns to Byron with tears in her eyes, "No thank you. He is mine now. I love him and I will take care of him forever." Amen.

dobie lives UPDATE: A report from the Dobie's caregivers reflects the resilience of nonhuman animals. All want to live. And this dog does, beautifully. He eats, drinks and plays with three fellow rescue dogs. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

Flood And Quake Cast Animals Into Sea Of Rubble

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
Traci Dawson, Incident Command Officer in Chile, Kinship Circle
LOCATION: Santa Clara and Talchuano, Chile

► OVERVIEW: This "fishing town" was ground zero for the quake/tsunami. Torn nets and debris cover beaches and streets. Locals pull nets from the wreckage to repair and resume their livelihood. Numerous animals rove the coast. Ruined homes are rimmed with waterlines about 5-feet high. Buildings have Katrina-like mold, mud, water damage and collapsed walls. Clean-up occurs at a slow place.

► ACTIVITIES: We spot a nursing dog in beach rubbish. Fishermen lead us to her den. We search for her pups, but mom has tunneled so deep underground that we're unable to safely reach them… Kinship Circle follows a food and medical aid route set by SACH. Along this route, we find many more animals in need. Some locals left animals behind. A few are tethered, with guardians nearby to bring food and water. An extremely large stray population fills streets and deserted buildings. All seem friendly, if skittish.

Enrique examines puppy
Santa Clara white cat
TOP PHOTO: SACH veterinarian Enrique examines this teeny survivor from Santa Clara.

BOTTOM PHOTOS: Medical concerns include mange, wounds, starvation, dehydration. Food is donated in measured amounts (4 scoops per plastic bag) because some in this impoverished area sell it rather than feed animals. We see 150 dogs and countless cats.

Photos (c) Kinship Circle, Chile 2010

Homeless Humans Without Means For Animal Care

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
Traci Dawson, Incident Command Officer in Chile, Kinship Circle
LOCATION: Calita Los Morros, Chile

► OVERVIEW: Camps consist of donated military tents or small wood and scrap metal shacks. Many evacuees bring their animals, but not all. Conflicts erupt over the presence of animals.

► ACTIVITIES: The team separates, to provide food and medical care to animals in this overcrowded camp. Two cats with severe upper respiratory disease are treated on site. During street rounds, we visit a family with a mom dog, large litter, and many more dogs plus several cats. All animals are checked, treated and left with food. Kinship Circle responders revisit a resident who'd told SACH she'd leave with her dogs. As suspected, she did not take them. The abandoned dogs are fed and and this location is added to our care route. We'll attempt to find a home for them.

mosquito treated animals Mosquito spray operations consume a large chunk of our day. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

► MEDICAL ISSUES: Mange, injuries, wounds, starvation, TVT, distemper. TVT, a canine venereal virus prevalent here, is transmitted via contact with open wounds and nasal sniffing. Dogs get large red cauliflower tumors. Chemotherapy is only cure. SIGHTING STATS: Approximately 200 dogs and cats.

Oiled Animals, 500 Stranded, Dazed Pup In Intersection…

SUBMITTED BY: June Towler, Public Information Officer (PIO) in Chile
Traci Dawson, Incident Command Officer in Chile, Kinship Circle
LOCATION: Calita il Fiernillo, Chile

oil spill cat This cat was rescued from a rooftop, drenched in oil. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

► EARTHQUAKE CAUSES OIL SPILL: The earthquake caused an oil spill at a shoreline refinery. Dogs and cats wade through oil tainted puddles. Animals are decontaminated, but with no emergency shelter for them, we are forced to release them back into the mess. Animal friendly oil company staff let dogs wander the property. SACH delivers food bags for animals here. Though the company has incurred government fines, the owner continues to feed strays.

oily dog, chile quake At 7:30pm workers tell us about an area with animals in poor condition. The place is swarming with strays. We capture and treat a skittish dog hunkered down on a slab of cardboard. (c) Kinship Circle, Chile Quake-Tsunami 2010

We find an 8-week old puppy dazed and ragged in the middle of an intersection. SACH takes the pup to a vet clinic, where she'll remain till ready to adopt out. Kinship Circle team members contribute money toward the pup's professional veterinary fee, as SACH reveals they are now completely out of money.

► SIGHTING STATS: The oil plant has about 50 dogs. In the second area, dogs are on curbs, sidewalks, lawns, alone, in packs… Over the course of the day, we see an estimated 500 dogs. Chile's sizable stray population has ballooned with animals displaced by this disaster.

Kinship Circle On Ground With SACH In Santiago

SUBMITTED BY: Brenda Shoss, director/founder, Kinship Circle

ASSESSMENT TEAM IN CHILE: Traci Dawson, Ontario Canada, Incident Commander
June Towler, Ontario Canada, Public Information Officer
Byron Wilkes, Washington USA, Safety Officer
Shawndra Michell, Washington USA, Ground Volunteer Coordinator
Maureen Valentine, Santiago Chile, Translator, Animal Aid

Kinship Circle and SACH in Chile

► OVERVIEW: Kinship Circle initiated communication with Socorro Animal Chile (SACH, Animal Relief Chile) within days of a mass earthquake on February 27, 2010. Due to the dire animal situation, we assembled first responders to assist SACH and work toward construction of a year-long clinic/shelter devoted to displaced animals, wound/disease treatment, vaccination, and sterilization.

After weeks of planning, our assessment team flies into Santiago, Chile to meet Adrianna De la Garza, SACH's International Affairs Coordinator. On day one, we meet with SACH's Alejandra Cassino (head coordinator), Sebastion Serrano, and chief veterinarian Fabian Espinola who will lead tomorrow's convoy to devastated coastal cities. To ensure clearance in all disaster zones, Representative Rincon of Chilean's Democratic Party will accompany us into the field. Rep. Rincon helped negotiate our MOU (official agreement to work in Chile) with the country's Foreign Ministry and Department of Defense.

  1. Tent shelter/clinic for animal disaster victims.
  2. Support SACH spay/neuter campaign.
  3. Transport and adoption programs, locally and abroad.

► If funded, SACH and Kinship Circle will conduct:
  • Search and Rescue
  • Field First Aid
  • Wound Transport to Veterinary Clinics
  • Shelter-In-Place (food/water stations
  • Assessment and Tracking of Animal Populations
  • Emergency Sheltering


Kinship Circle
Animal Disaster Aid Fund
7380 Kingsbury Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

  • Large vehicles: 3 SUV style
  • Gas fueled generators
  • Veterinary surgical equipment, exam table
  • Veterinary clinic supplies, vaccines, meds, etc.
  • Subcutaneous fluid bags, lines, needles
  • Portable x-ray machine and light table
  • Fans and portable air conditioners
  • Kennels, run, carriers, cages…
  • Sturdy large tents for clinic, sheltering, volunteers
  • Electrical lighting for staging area, volunteer camp
  • Fencing, partitioning
  • Leashes, collars, slip leads…
  • Cages, crates, carriers…
  • Food-water dishes
  • Litter pans, litter
  • Cat and dog food
  • Water
  • Blankets, newspapers, towels
  • Trap cages
  • Catchpoles, nets, bite gloves…
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Refrigerator for cold storage medication
  • Deployment of qualified animal first responders
  • Airfare
  • Lodging for disaster response teams
  • Administrative costs to sustain disaster operations

Chilean Animal Coalition Asks For Kinship Circle Aid

Dear Ms. Shoss and Kinship Circle,

The earthquake and tsunami that Chile suffered on the early morning of the 27th of February devastated towns close to the coast. Thousands of animals are silent victims of this catastrophe. Hundreds of dogs live with their owners in shelters and more roam the ruins of towns and cities. The dogs' guardians have lost everything and do not have resources to feed their animals. Some opted to abandon them.

Chilean animal welfare groups and veterinarians decided to work together to help animals and created Socorro Animal Chile (Animal Relief Chile).

Socorro Animal Chile (Animal Relief Chile) formally requests assistance from Kinship Circle for our animal aid operation in Dichato, Constitucion and Pichilemu, Chile. We need trained disaster responders and rescue and veterinary specialists. On behalf of SACH/Animal Relief Chile, we ask that Kinship Circle deploy to Chile to work within our animal disaster plan, in response to Chile's earthquake.

We also ask Kinship Circle to temporarily receive donations in the USA on behalf of Socorro Animal Chile. We urgently need funding to sustain our work for animals. Difficult bureaucratic hurdles to opening a Paypal account in Chile have prompted SACH to request financial aid from other countries, especially the United States. That is the reason we ask Kinship Circle to accept funds on our behalf.

For all your help we are grateful,

Alejandra Cassino, Chief Coordinator
Adriana De La Garza, International Affairs
Socorro Animal Chile (SACH) / Animal Relief Chile


Chile's 8.8 Earthquake Affects Some 700,000 Animals

(AP) 3/4/10: The magnitude 8.8 quake and tsunami ravaged a 435-mile stretch of Chile's Pacific coast and killed at least 802 people. Authorities say 2 million people were affected. Chile has asked other countries and the UN for temporary bridges, field hospitals, satellite phones, generators, water purification systems…

( 2/27/10: The 22-mile deep earthquake caused buildings to collapse, fires to erupt, and unleashed a tsunami across the Pacific. It devastated Chile's second largest city, Concepcion, 70 miles from the epicentre. This quake was nearly 500 times the magnitude of Haiti's January quake, but it was deeper. Aftershocks: There were 29 of magnitude 5 or greater, and one reaching 6.9, US Geological Survey reported.

CEFU executive director Alejandra Cassino estimates more than 700,000 companion animals may be affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile's central region on 2/27/10. Coalition For Ethical Treatment Of Urban Animals (CEFU) has called upon other Chilean animal organizations to unite for these victims. Under the banner ANIMAL RELIEF CHILE, the coalition provides a national support network to cover veterinary care, resource management, communications, volunteers…

ANIMAL RELIEF CHILE MEMBER GROUPS, AS OF 3/5/10: Coalition For Ethical Treatment Of Urban Animals (CEFU); Animanaturalis; Animal Consciousness; Rima; ADAR; ASPS Talca; Independent Animal Enraizarte; Universidad Diego Portales, Universidad Mayor, Iberoamericana and Universidad de Chile
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