In the aftermath of Turkey’s devastating earthquake which occurred almost a week ago today, the cries of people trapped beneath the rubble have been joined by barks, miaows, and even the cooing of birds. But for those who hear an animal in distress or are worried about their own beloved pet, the Haytap team is there to help.
Who are the Haytap team?
The Haytap team, specializing in helping animals in emergency situations, sprang into action following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Local specialists were the first on the scene, with international teams from countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, and the UK soon joining the effort. Aid tents were set up in Antakya, a city reduced to ruins by the quake, and Malatya, with volunteers, vets, and trained search and rescue staff coming from Istanbul to offer their assistance. Since the earthquake in Turkey almost a week ago today, the Haytap team have been on the ground searching for survivors.
Videos showing Haytap’s efforts have been circulating, showcasing their work in helping injured babies, pulling dogs from the wreckage, and even treating sheep at their makeshift tented surgery. A legal change in 2021 requiring all pets in Turkey to have a microchip has raised the hopes of owners being reunited with their animals.
However, the earthquake has claimed the lives of over 22,000 people in Turkey and Syria today, including thousands of pet owners, and even some survivors may not be able to care for their pets. Haytap is appealing for help in transporting the hundreds of animals in their care from the disaster area, as well as funds to assist in their work. The charity is also asking the world to keep the survivors in their thoughts.
Founded in 2008 and run by lawyer Ahmet Kemal Senpolat, Haytap is dedicated to helping animals and people in times of crisis. The team’s tireless efforts in the wake of the earthquake are a testament to their commitment to the well-being of all those affected.
Image Credit: AFP