Kinship Circle

A man rescuing a dog crosses flooded streets in Villahermosa, Mexico. Manuel Lopez, Reuters

A man rescues a parrot and two dogs from floodwaters in Tabasco, Mexico. A week of heavy rains unleashed massive flooding in southeastern Mexico. Reuters

Thousands are stranded as Villahermosa remains under water. Mexico flooding affects 700,000

Stranded horses stand among submerged cars.

Photos above and below: Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager: Day Three, part two

Tens of thousands of surviving dogs and cats may need help! Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager: Day Three, part one

Stranded by floods in the Mexican state of Tabasco. Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager

Two dogs just rescued from the flood. Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager

Flooded street in Villaharmosa. Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager

Rich Crook, Best Friends Rapid Response Manager

Mexico Floods: "Just Like New Orleans"

Excerpts From Mexico's Flood, "Just Like New Orleans"

11/2/07 TABASCO, MEXICO: 300,000 TRAPPED AFTER TABASCO FLOODS More than 300,000 people are believed to be trapped in their homes after severe flooding hit the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. A huge rescue operation has begun after torrential rains caused widespread flooding in the region. One person has been confirmed dead so far but more than 1m are thought to have been affected by the floods. Dramatic rooftop helicopter rescues are being seen on television. Mexican President Felipe Calderon called it "one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country."

11/1/07 TABASCO: MEXICO FLOODING AFFECTS 700,000 Thousands remain stranded in the worst flooding in 50 years The authorities in Mexico say as many as 700,000 people have been affected by heavy rains and severe flooding in the south-eastern state of Tabasco. The governor has called on anyone who owns a seafaring vessel to help free the 300,000 people believed to be trapped in their homes. Rescuers have also been using helicopters to try to reach people stranded on rooftops.

The heavy rains began at the weekend, forcing rivers to burst their banks in the largely low-lying state. The BBC's Andy Gallacher in Mexico says it is the humanitarian crisis that now concerns the Mexican authorities. "We are just like New Orleans," Tabasco governor Andres Granier said. "All the water that comes in has to be pumped out."
Horses are dazed, standing amid submerged cars. AP Photo
11/3/07 VILLAHERMOSA: MEXICAN MILITARY GUARDS FLOODED AREAS Hundreds of rooftops rose like islands from a murky snake-infested sea of flood water that gave this besieged city a look eerily reminiscent of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Soldiers and sailors in combat gear clutched automatic weapons to ward off looters and other criminals as rescuers worked into the night Saturday. Various media said eight people had died, one in Tabasco state and seven in neighboring Chiapas state, but state officials could not confirm the reports. About 80 percent of Tabasco was under water, but some rivers receded slightly Saturday. Villahermosa, the state's capital and largest city, remained largely flooded… Abandoned dogs yelped from rooftops, and snakes slithered perilously through the water near people wading to safety. NOVEMBER 11, 2007
Kinship Circle Helps Best Friends Coordinate Aid

From Jill Dennis, International Community Response Coordinator, Best Friends Animal Society ● 435-644-3965 ext. 4439 ● — Richard Crook has established a staging-rescue center on the campus of Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco Biological Campus.

Biology Campus of the University (UJAT)
Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco
Division Academica de Ciencias Biologicas
Carretera Villahermosa-Cardenas
KM 0.5 Entronque Bosques de Saloya, CP. 86150
Villahermaosa, Tabasco, Mexico
international ph: +52 (993) 358 15 00, +52 (993) 358 15 00

    • Your first and last name
    • Your phone number, cell is best
    • Your physical address
    • Brief credentials, disaster aid experience
    • ARRIVE and DEPART DATES you can be in Mexico

From Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle — I will communicate your arrive/depart dates to Richard Crook, so he knows when you will work at the Best Friends staging area. Do not contact Rich directly about travel, personal supplies, or to ask about animals. This is NOT Katrina with large-staff operations set up (think Lamar Dixon, etc.). It is a handful of Americans coordinating with local, Spanish-speaking animal organizations. NOVEMBER 2007
For Volunteers: How To Get To Tabasco + Notes

From Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle — As I research more information about travel logistics, I will post to a private email list of potential volunteers. For now, here is what I know about which airport to use:
Villahermosa International Airport (closest airport to flood site)
Carretera Villahermosa - Macuspana Km 13
Villahermosa, Edo. de Tabasco
Telephone: 52 99 - 3356-0157 international airport

NOTE TO POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS — This assignment is for the hardy and self-sufficient. Bring personal supplies similar to working in Katrina flood zone. Food, electricity, etc. are accessible from volunteer site. I do not yet know about access to showers. Bring baby wipes, washcloths. Any creative, resourceful person who can look into getting needed supplies shipped to BF staging site, please start working on this now. NOVEMBER 2007
Kinship Circle: Photos Of Affected Animals

Tabasco Volunteers: Send us your animal photos and stories
From Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle — Please send digital photos of animals and rescue situations observed on the ground. We will post these, with your name and descriptions.

  1. Your FULL NAME
  2. DATES you volunteered
  3. WHERE you volunteered, physical location
  4. BRIEF DESCRIPTION of each photo sent
  5. Your EMAIL ADDRESS for feedback comments
Supplies Urgently Needed For Animal Flood Victims

  • Dog/Cat Food
  • Water
  • Veterinary Medical Supplies
  • Crates, Kennels
  • Catch Poles
  • Tarps, Tents
  • Food Bowls
  • Animal Care Products
  • Boats
  • Motors

Biology Campus of the University (UJAT)
Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco
Division Academica de Ciencias Biologicas
Carretera Villahermosa-Cardenas
KM 0.5 Entronque Bosques de Saloya, CP. 86150
Villahermaosa, Tabasco, Mexico
international ph: +52 (993) 358 15 00, +52 (993) 358 15 00

From Richard Crook, Rapid Response Manager, Best Friends Animal Society — We only yesterday were able to secure one of the University Campuses here in Tabasco, now it's set up time. Right now I would prefer we only bring in skilled volunteers. Anyone who can bring supplies needed — by all means, get on the road. The quicker we set up, the quicker we can bring in the sick and injured. We're approaching two weeks in, so time is becoming an issue. One last request, I'm also looking to secure items mentioned above locally if at all possible, so those of us that have been through this before know what is needed. Please pass along any leads on local equipment or supplies. This would be most helpful. NOVEMBER 2007
Updates From The Ground

HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, Responders On Ground + Supporting Local Efforts, From Jessica Higgins, Latin America/Caribbean HSI — I am flying to Villahermosa tomorrow (11/11/07). Dr. Mark Lloyd, DVM will arrive to assist. HSI has processed a donation to Gente por la Defensa Animal (GEPDA) in Mexico City to get them to Tabasco. They'll work under the HSI banner. The HSI funding is to get them mobilized, but should consider a second donation to cover the response as it progresses. After Dr. Lloyd and I return to U.S., GEPDA will stay in place.

GENTE POR LA DEFENSA ANIMAL (GEPDA) — GEPDA is a nonprofit association created in Mexico City in 2000 and legally incorporated in 2005, by a group of professionals dedicated to promoting the application of humanistic principals to the protection and defense of animals. Volunteers in Mexico, United States and Canada.
Monica Pineda, Founder, GEPDA President USA:
Mary Carmen Garcia, Founder, GEPDA Vice President Mexico:

From Karen O' Toole, ● Karen has been in Tabasco since last week, helping with animal aid assessment — 90,000 sq miles devastated. Much of it cow land. So the cows are in deep trouble. 1.8 million cows in outlaying areas, not reachable by boats, etc. Not enough boats. Far out of city. There are 2 main areas of the city still flooded. About 15 ft high, dropping a foot a day in the city, an inch a day in the outlaying areas, cow country.

Been in helicopters and boats surveying area. Have been meeting with govt. officials to get boats, etc. A small group of rescuers here that live in this city, only 5 of them. This is a city that recently electrocuted 50 stray dogs. This small group of rescuers had a protest. Only 100 people showed up. Most of population doesn't care about animals, as is typical.

Got the university involved to give us volunteers to help distribute food. The local five were doing it all alone. Pets now 10 days without food-water. Surviving animals were left on roofs so they cannot get to water, which has dropped below their level. Water in outlaying farms is fresh water, so at least animals have that, and tons of it, but in town water gets darker and darker. Motor boats, dead animals, submerged cars etc., pollute it.

Water should be down in about 3 to 4 weeks. But people lost everything and people food has to be brought in, so they're not feeding pets with anything. Been in military copters, SO SAD you see cows dead everywhere and those alive are on tiny dry patches in the middle of nowhere, and I mean nowhere. They will never get food. Other cows haven't found these rare dry patches and are still standing in deep water, no food around them, no land, nothing but miles of water in every direction. Not a chance in hell for them. NOVEMBER 2007
Rescue Planned For Thousands Of Animals

VILLA HERMOSA, MEXICO ● From Best Friends Animal Society — We are prepared to launch a rescue effort to reach thousands of companion animals stranded by floodwaters in the Mexican state of Tabasco.

"We've seen dogs swimming for their lives, stranded on concrete blocks, on rooftops, and clinging to anything that will float," said Rich Crook, rapid response manager for Best Friends. "We're making final arrangements to get as many of them out as we can." Working with local authorities, Crook has established a staging area/rescue center on the campus of Universidad Juarez Autonoma de Tabasco Biological Campus. Four teams will be out on the water in the next few days to rescue animals stranded by floodwaters. Those suffering from injury or trauma will be brought to the rescue center for treatment by volunteer veterinarians.

"Most of the damage is on the northern and southern areas of Villa Hermosa and on the outskirts of the city," Crook said. "We estimate 15,000-20,000 animals will need help." The most immediate need, Crook said, will be food-water station setup for animals, all done on the water because houses are submerged to rooftops.

Heavy tropical storm rains inundated the area surrounding Villa Hermosa last week, causing damage to as many as one million homes. Reports earlier this week said floodwaters had caused $4.7 billion in damage to homes, farmlands and ranches. According to Crook, locals said it took only three hours for the rain to rise over the rooftops. NOVEMBER 7, 2007
In Tabasco To Assess Animal Disaster Aid Needs

11/7/07, Mexican president calls situation extraordinarily grave A team from Best Friends has arrived in the Mexican state of Tabasco to assess the effect of recent floods on the animal population. The situation is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina, with hundreds of thousands of homeless residents. One report indicated that as many as 100,000 cows and other domestic animals and tens of thousands of family pets are stranded by floods.

Best Friends' rapid response manager Rich Crook met with Mexico's minister of health to discuss current recovery plans. Next step: tour the disaster area by military helicopter to determine what is needed to help animals survive the flooding. Estimates are hundreds of thousands of Tabasco residents are homeless and living in shelters. Another 80,000 others are trapped in remote areas of the state.

From Brenda Shoss — I am in touch with Best Friends Rapid Response Manager Rich Crook while in Mexico. Some of you submitted names/credentials for volunteering once a field station is established in Tabasco. Best Friends is still assessing the disaster site, and working with government officials and local animal organizations. Rich feels no single organization can successfully manage the effort at the flood site.

He believes "we'll need all hands on deck" once an operations area exists in conjunction with local government and local groups. At that time, vets, vet techs, and other experienced volunteers will likely be needed. If you'd like your name added as a potential volunteer for BF's Richard Crook, contact Kinship Circle: NOVEMBER 7, 2007
Communication From Local Animal Rescuers

Babel Fish Web Translation — We are organizations to send aid to our dear smaller brothers, the animals, which nobody remembers. They need the same compassion, gentility and mercy that all deserve in the same situation. All the humanitarian aid is for people, who have undergone much. The animals also are victims of this misfortune. Many have died, drowned, taken far from their families or left behind.

All aid is welcome but what it is needed more is:
Bags or tins of food, for dogs and cats
Food for birds
Containers for food
Sand for cat [litter?]
Sand tables [litter boxes?]

All those who wish to help our smaller brothers, please to communicate to telephone: 044 55 2002 1972 or email to

Babel Fish Web Translation, 11/9/07 ● From Antonio Haghenbeck, As a result of disaster happened in Beautiful Villa, Tabasco, the equipment of attention to emergencies of the Bottom the International for the Protection of the Animals and its Habitat [IFAW], is evaluating the situation in the disaster zone at this moment. The victims are soliciting food for their animals of company, reason why we do a call again to them so that they collaborate with us reuniting to food for dogs and cats.

Tecoyotitla Street, no. 274
Flowery Col., C.P. 01030, Mexico D.F
Everyday: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

2. Independent National University of Mexico (UNAM)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University City Tunnel of the first building, next to the parking of professors.
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3. Patricio Saenz no. 529, corner Towers Leader
Col. Of the Valley, Mexico D.F
Everyday: All hours

This action this being coordinated between several organizations: Committee Pro Natural Animal, Spaces, Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the UNAM, Foundation Antonio Independent Animal Haghenbeck and Protectores and Indigenista Aid.

Thank you very much by your aid! Marcela Romero, Official of Campaigns


  1. Independently trained volunteers with experience in disaster rescue, animal handling, sheltering, animal first aid, veterinary, photography and documentation, leadership skills.
  2. Flexibililty to travel to disaster zones for 1-2 weeks.
  3. Team players who follow FEMA Incident Command System and Kinship Circle protocol.
  4. Self-sustainability in rugged post-disaster settings.
  5. CLICK HERE to register as an disaster response volunteer.



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