Animals in disasters

Meet our disaster veterinarian: protecting animals in disasters across the region


Dr. Maheshwari, shares his first-hand experience, of protecting animals in the aftermath of the catastrophic Nepal earthquake.

Within three days of the devastating earthquake hitting Nepal in April, our disaster veterinarian, Dr. Akash Maheshwari, was on the ground helping to save animal lives.

Dr. Maheshwari, who holds a post-graduate in veterinary science from Rajasthan University, joined our disaster management team over three years ago. Since his early days as a veterinary, he has been passionate about helping animals in need, and has a keen interest in protecting the lives of animals, and people, during emergencies.

During his time with World Animal Protection, Dr Maheshwari has been an active member of our response team. Providing emergency medical care to animals caught up in the severe drought in Maharashtra, devastating flashfloods in Uttarakhand, and Cyclone Phallin on the coast of Odisha.

But he saw some of the worst devastation and loss of lives in Nepal, while providing emergency medical care in the Lalitpur and Sindhupal chowk districts of Kathmandu valley: two of the country’s worst affected areas.

Dr Maheshwari told us: “We mainly treated cattle, buffaloes and goats, the three most commonly owned local animals. Many had terrible injuries, including wounds and fractures caused by fallen structures.

“Animal owners we simply not prepared for so much damage and destruction.”

As we continue to work to protect the lives of animals, and rebuild the lives of people in Nepal, Dr. Maheshwari, told us:

“Disasters have equal impact on animals, and at times they suffer more than people. Animal owners are often left helpless, as they are unable to protect their animals.

“It’s extremely important to protect animals in disasters, especially when they play such an important role in people’s lives and livelihood. Animals and people share a very strong bond. I know that by helping animals in emergencies, I am helping people too.”

Follow our animals in disaster blog to read more about the experiences of our disaster response team working on the ground.

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