Throughout history, our communities have developed, at least in part, from a collective need for mutual support, establishing organized systems that benefit not only the individual, but the group as a whole. However, this human sense of predictability and control is often upended in the wake of natural disasters.
A brutal reality
These events can culminate rapidly and overwhelm our community structures, forcing us to face life through a more primitive lens of survival. One need look no further than the recent wildfires in California, the immense devastation and tragic loss of life playing out across 150,000 acres.
Such is the brutal reality of both natural and man-made disasters, and they are also having an affect on animals. Rescuing animals both wild and domesticated from these environmental tragedies is a huge part of recognizing the intrinsic value of all animals. Translating this philosophy into scientifically-based, effective rescue methods forms the core of animal rescue work.
Saving innocent lives
Each rescue deployment forges a path towards new information that can be used to improve future rescue efforts and develop enhanced disaster preparedness plans. Wildlife rescues yield data that can ultimately drive effective conservation measures. Given the increasing frequency and immensity of natural disasters, this cycle of perpetual learning is essential.
Every individual animal matters to the overall population. Given that we closely share our communities alongside our pets, domesticated animals and wildlife, each individual ultimately influences the broader group. This degree of interconnectedness makes it all the more critical to re-weave the very fabric of communities during times of crisis.
Rodger Correa, U.S. Communications Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare, [email protected]