Photos on a website featuring the dogs of Haiti tell a story of how even before that deadly earthquake hit that nation’s capital, the pets of the region, much like their human companions, suffered from abject poverty.
With an estimated loss of lives in Port-au-Prince exceeding 150,000, and countless individuals injured, and homeless, the pets of the nation have become silent victims, there just aren’t the resources to make them a priority.
But during these desperate times, other dogs were making their way to Haiti to come to the aid of man. Sniffer dogs and their handlers were dispatched from the United Kingdom, Holland, France, China, Germany, and the United States among other countries. These dogs worked tirelessly with their human partners to find the injured, and as time passed, the bodies of the deceased.
In the wake of disasters, man-made like 911, or natural, like Hurricane Katrina, and now the Haitian earthquake, dogs with their uncanny olfactory senses can do work that man nor machine cannot.
Will Judy, an expert on the anatomy, and soul, of the dog wrote that “The dog is quick to sniff, grunt, blow his breath-he inhales deeply and repeatedly; a questioning look comes into his eyes as his nose seeks to get information or solve a momentary mystery.” Even back in 1949, Judy knew the value of the dog as the “premier hunting aid to the man…” and knew that further investigation on how to develop ways to utilize these skills for the betterment of mankind was called for.
As scientists continue to discover what dogs are capable of doing, we can be sure these amazing canines will rise to any occasion when they are needed, just like they always do.
The sniffer dogs are fortunate, when their work is done, they will return to the comfort of their homes. The dogs, and other animals that remain, will face far less fortunate conditions.
If you log onto the Petfinder.com website, you will be instructed as to how you can help the dogs of that nation. If others know of other ways to help, please feel free to post in comments.