Four nights after an earthquake devastated the town of Pedernales in Ecuador, a local man heard the cries of a puppy rising from the rubble. He immediately rushed to the makeshift animal shelter and sought help. A Quito-based rescue group, Acción Animal Ecuador, in collaboration with Darwin Animal Doctors, a U.S. organization providing medical care for animals overseas, set up a clinic for pets in the earthquake-ravaged town.
As soon as the group learned about the trapped canine, they sprung to action in the dark, gathering the Fire Department Brigade and the police for support. The three teams took two fire trucks and drove as fast as they could to the location. Upon confirming the presence of the puppy, they cleared the slabs of concrete.
Dr. Cris Cely, a veterinarian with Darwin Animal Doctors, was in for a surprise.
She tells BarkPost:
To everyone’s surprise, this puppy was only about two weeks old and was there with her brothers and sisters, next to the body of her dead mother.
It is a miracle that the seven puppies survived the 7.8 earthquake that shook Ecuador on April 17th, killing 659 and injuring more than 27,732 people. The team rescued the puppies and transported them to the shelter, where they were rehydrated and fed.
The puppy whose sobs saved her littermates was named Esperanza (Hope). This brave little one also brought hope to everyone in the area.
While Esperanza provides some much needed faith to Ecuadorians, there is so much more the country desperately needs. The earthquake affected areas still remain without water, electricity, and infrastructure. Those who survived fled to higher ground, leaving everything behind, including, in some cases, their animals.
Darwin Animal Doctors and Acción Animal Ecuador have been feeding and caring for injured pets and strays. They have come to the rescue of all creatures, including monkeys, turtles, and caymans, providing them with the best care possible and conducting surgery as needed.
Tod Emko, founder of Darwin Animal Doctors, tells BarkPost:
“This tragedy touches everyone, big and small. Until every family member is helped or reunited, including companion animals, the healing can’t truly begin. Animals both wild and domestic need help and we’re committed to getting them the help they need.”
The groups need our assistance to continue their efforts. Donations will go towards food, medicine, water, crates, and surgical tools. If you can, please consider donating to this very worthy cause.
Featured image via Ministerio Interior Ecuador