One of the many benefits of our international work is the relationships we’ve built. We’ve had first-hand insight into the remarkable work of local advocates, often in the most difficult of circumstances.
So while borders have been closed and travel restricted, we’ve been reaching out to these trusted international colleagues to get assessments of how animals are being impacted in their countries — and how we can help.
It’s clear that COVID-19 has added another huge layer of challenges for animal protection and rescue groups. They are desperately trying to find ways to continue to provide for animals in their care while also helping animals impacted by the virus.
Determined to help these groups and support the dedicated animal advocates that have continued to work for animals despite the most challenging circumstances, we developed our rapid-response Emergency Grants program.
These Emergency Grants were introduced at a critical time — when income sources for animal rescue and protection groups had been significantly reduced, or stopped altogether.
The support of Animals Australia donors has been helping some of these brave and compassionate animal advocates in the following ways:
- Assisting our veterinary team on the ground in Indonesia, who provided much-needed care to homeless animals and have worked with groups on the ground to run feeding programs to ensure that animals on the streets are fed.
- Supporting working donkeys, horses and bulls in Indonesia and North Africa, to ensure that local projects have funding to continue to care for them at a time when their owners may be without income.
- Helping ensure that the hundreds of elephants within ‘riding’ camps in Thailand are being fed, and positive education programs encouraging more ethical models of tourism can continue.
- Contributing to help feed the millions of street animals who rely solely on the kindness of strangers for their meals, as groups on the ground ensure that they are still fed during lockdowns in Lebanon, Palestine and India.
- Establishing an emergency fund for animal rescue groups in Australia affected by COVID-19.
Our Emergency Grants program has seen funds channeled directly to organisations across the world — in Indonesia (Villa Kitty, Horses of Gili, Gili Eco Trust, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Bali Street Dog Support), India (Wildlife SOS, Help in Suffering, Animal Aid Unlimited, Friendicoes), Nepal (Voice of Animals Nepal), Philippines (Compassion and Responsibility for animals Philippines), Palestine (Palestinian Animal League), Australia (Animals Aid Abroad and a range of rescue organisations through our Pet Rescue grants), Cambodia (Save Elephant Foundation / Elephant Nature Park, Wildlife Alliance, Free the Bears), Lebanon (Animals Lebanon) , Uruguay (Animales Sin Hogar), Colombia (Fundación Bioparque La Reserva, Fundación Caridad Animal) Egypt (Egypt Equine Aid) and Tanzania (Tanzania Animal Welfare Society).
Despite the uncertainty and the fear associated with a global pandemic, the courage and compassion of brave and dedicated advocates across the world continues to ensure that animals are not forgotten. Thank you to all those who have helped us to ensure that their vital work for animals can continue during this time.