Goseong, Sokcho and other regions of Gangwon Province on the North East Coast of South Korea have been ravaged by severe forest fires. The government has proclaimed it a national disaster.
CARE staff went there on the night the fires started to respond to reports of animals in danger, and were rescuing and helping animals continually throughout the duration of the fires and in their aftermath. Another team was dispatched the following day, at dawn.
For the past decade or so, CARE has worked to save and help animals during such disasters, and through experience, we were able to quickly analyze the situation and locate and care for the most severely injured animals.
We cleared the burnt corpses of animals, rescued dogs that had lost their homes, treated abandoned dogs that had been blinded or had suffered respiratory problems from the heat and the smoke, and relocated those most severely affected to veterinary hospitals. We even came across one gravely wounded pregnant cow that had survived by escaping her bonds while her fellow inmates died where they were chained. Unfortunately, she also died a couple of days later, despite our efforts to save her.
Most of the affected animals had been abandoned chained up by their owners as they fled the fires.
After obtaining permission from their owners, we treated the animals that needed immediate attention. We were also able to find some of the owners of the animals that needed urgent treatment, after posting their photos on Facebook. The small majority of the animals that did not appear to have owners were registered at the local ward office.
Some of the animal owners who could no longer afford to keep their dogs due to losing their homes asked us to take care of their pets for them. Along with being wounded and injured, most of the animals are currently suffering from heartworms and various other diseases usual for a lack of veterinary treatment.
Our staff are still searching for and treating injured animals, and since there are a lot of animals that need attention, we are unfortunately having to perform triage to determine those most likely to benefit from emergency treatment.
Unfortunately, a large majority of the severely wounded animals are in danger of losing their sight. We plan on treating them before returning them to their owners and see to it that the rescued animals that we brought to CARE will be adopted.
If you feel you can help in any way, please consider making a donation towards the treatment of these affected animals, or sharing their story on social media.