World Animal Protection's disaster team visiting bushfire affected areas south of Sydney

Disasters injure and kill millions of animals each year. For 55 years, we deployed to disaster zones to assist animals – and reminded governments to take responsibility for them too.

Our history protecting animals in disasters

When disasters hit, animals experience the same terrible effects as people: injury, starvation, thirst, displacement, illness and stress.

We moved fast to protect animals affected by earthquakes, floods, typhoons and other disasters.

We provided food, water, medical care, and other emergency assistance to animals in need.

We evacuated animals from danger, and reunited animals and owners that had been separated.

Kangaroo in the wild during the Australia bushfires

Protecting animals from bushfires

The Australian bushfires in 2019-20 impacted the lives of over three billion animals by either killing, severely injuring, or displacing them.

Staff members with goat during disaster

Helping animals helps people

When animals die during disasters, it has a devastating impact on the people who rely on them for companionship and economic status

More than 1 billion of the world’s poorest people depend on animals for food, transport and livelihoods.

Disaster risk reduction   

As well as responding to disasters, we worked year-round to help countries prepare and reduce the impact on animals and their owners.  

Through our work, we encouraged governments, international bodies, and local and national partners to include animals in their plans, policies and practice. We: 

  • lobbied and publicly campaigned for animal-inclusive disaster risk reduction strategies at the international and national level 
  • conducted training activities with local government officials  
  • trained partner organisations on animal rescue and disaster management through workshops and PrepVet, an online course we developed 
  • helped animal owners in disaster prone areas learn how to care for their animals.
Staff member during Ecuador earthquakes

Governments: don’t forget them

Governments must take urgent steps to protect both people and animals by including animals in their disaster plans.

Governments and the global disaster response community know that protecting animals helps people rebuild their lives following a disaster.  

Yet animals are rarely included in national disaster plans and investments, and their needs are rarely factored into relief operations.

The message is clear: don’t forget animals in global discussions on disaster risk reduction, disaster plans and investments

dog and owner

Plan ahead to protect your pet

Natural emergencies can occur at any time, and without a plan you could make panicked decisions that threaten the safety of your pet, yourself and your family.

Captive lion in South Africa

Will you protect animals?

Every animal deserves a life worth living – from captive lions used for trophy hunting to mother pigs in cages in factory farms.

Kangaroo in the wild during the Australia bushfires

Protecting animals from bushfires

The Australian bushfires in 2019-20 impacted the lives of over three billion animals by either killing, severely injuring, or displacing them.

Hero staff moo to ewe cow

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