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Scott Cantin
Bangkok
WSPA's Asia Pacific Disaster Management Communications Manager
Interests: Animal Welfare, Disaster Response, Communications for good.
Recent Activity
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When we first saw her, she was in the words of our vet: “moments from death.” Little more than a skeleton, she lay in the grass at the side of a path, her tiny chest moving with each laboured breath. I’ve honestly never seen an animal that close to death and it was heartbreaking. Our vet Dr. Naritsorn Pholpherm immediately began palpating her body and trying to determine how to save her. He said she was severely dehydrated, malnourished and could not lift her head. Six months old and hours from death. A tiny puppy lies in the grass on... Continue reading
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Two weeks after Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu, we’ve completed our initial assessment of the needs of animals affected by the disaster and we’ve been delivering urgent aid to those that are suffering. We’ve seen multiple animal injuries and deaths from falling trees and structures. Our vets have also treated pre-existing conditions made worse by the Category 5 storm. A chicken walks past a collapsed house in Lokopui, Epi Island, Vanuatu. But for the surviving animals, it’s the growing food shortage that poses the biggest threat across multiple islands reeling in the wake of the worst disaster of this kind... Continue reading
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Some of the animals we've met so far on our disaster response operation following Cyclone Pam have really touched our hearts. At the Port Vila veterinary clinic we saw a beloved family dog with a broken pelvis sustained when record-breaking winds ripped through the capital. Despite his painful injuries, 'Teo', a seven-year old Bichon Frise is one of the lucky ones who found immediate aid in Dr. Karin O’Connor's clinic. Teo has been recovering since sustaining a broken pelvis when Cyclone Pam hit. © World Animal Protection An adorable little stray kitten somehow knew to turn up at the clinic... Continue reading
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As we wrap up our third day in Vanuatu, we've moved through villages across Efate Island, where the capital Port Vila is located. Chickens seek whatever shade possible after the cyclone completely destroyed their coop. March 19, 2015 Efate Island. © World Animal Protection Along the way, we've treated and fed animals like dogs, goats and cats and are now heading for the Shepherd Islands to continue our aid delivery. These islands are listed by the Vanuatu government as among the most critically in need of aid and also have high animal populations. A four year old male ram suffering... Continue reading
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Our disaster team arrives this evening in Port Vila and will get straight to work helping animals affected by Cyclone Pam. Aerial surveys of outlying islands depict entire communities wiped out, houses, farmlands and gardens partially or totally destroyed and damages reminiscent of that last seen in late 2013 when Typhoon Haiyan decimated parts of the Philippines. Residents had drawn large white "H's" on the ground or made them from mirrors, appealing for help the only way they can, as communications with many islands are still down. A dog lies among downed trees in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila. March 15,... Continue reading
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When the Turrialba volcano suddenly came back to life in a cataclysmic eruption on March 12, our Costa Rican based disaster response team immediately reached out to Costa Rica's Animal Health Department to determine how animals were affected and their immediate needs. We were relieved to learn that civil defence are working to get cattle and other animals evacuated from the danger zone. One of the many animals affected by ash falls following the most recent eruption Turriabla is surrounded by farming communities, including one of the country’s most important dairy farmers. The eruption was so great, ash falls reached... Continue reading
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Super Cyclone Pam dwarfs Vanuatu. With winds of up to 270 km/hr, the storm has devastated the country where a majority of the population's livelihood is dependent on subsistence farming. Image source: NASA Our disaster response team is on the way to Vanuatu to help animals who've been injured or left without shelter after the category five storm has left Vanuatu reeling. As the storm developed, we sent out emergency preparedness tips for animal owners to radio stations and newspapers across Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu and New Zealand. The storm is so big it has affected them all, with... Continue reading
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I frequently hear the question, “Why do people stay?” Living in zones vulnerable to volcanoes, floods and other disasters, threats to their safety and livelihoods are an unwelcome and often unpredictable part of life. People and their animals live in risky areas the world over and Fogo Island communities are no different. A common link I have found when talking to them is it simply comes down to no other choice. People do not have the means, or the ability to relocate where they’ve often lived for generations. Traditional homes sometimes represent their spiritual connection to the land and the... Continue reading
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Extremely young and elderly animals have little or no chance when disasters strike. They are frequnetly the first to succumb to illness or injuries; too slow to escape and often in fragile health to begin with. As we made our way around Fogo Island yesterday, we came across a mule whose owner Maria Andrar told us was well over twenty-five years old. Formerly her main source of transporting produce these two were now mostly “just friends”. Maria Andrar listens as Sergio Vasquez explains how we will treat 'Mule'. Two local government officials look on. Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cabo Verde December... Continue reading
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James Sawyer, our Director of Disaster Managment feeds a three-year-old dog named Russe. Cabo Monte, Fogo Island, Cabo Verde December 18, 2014. ©World Animal Protection Evacuated animals in disaster zones are often among the least considered, forgotten victims. Unless owners are prepared and have a plan, fast, unpredictable and terribly destructive disasters often leave them no choice to abandon or release their animals in the final moments of safety. Think for a moment about animals with no one particular owner. The friendly cat that hangs around the neighbourhood; the “community” dogs seen across the developing world. Eking out existence through... Continue reading
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Inside the caldera of Volcan Pico do Fogo. The surrounding landscape was fertile famrland and home to thousands of animals and people. The eruption that began on November third has displaced them and obliterated two villages. ©World Animal Protection 2014 In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, Augusto Pires 60 and his son Augustino 30 were asleep. Their home and farm were located in the fertile plains within the caldera of Pico do Fogo, a large volcano in Cabo Verde. Suddenly, near 3 A.M. the volcano burst to life for the first time in nearly twenty years.... Continue reading
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While our Asia-based disaster response team is now on the ground in the Philippines assessing the damage from Typhoon Hagupit, our Americas-based team is gearing up to deploy to Cabo Verde. Fogo Island, or "fire" island in Portuguese, has seen nearly constant volcanic eruptions from Pico do Fogo since November 23. This week, news reports describe "catastrophic" destruction. Fogo's eruption seen from space. image credit: NASA / public domain With an economy largely based on agriculture, this eruption - the first in nearly twenty years - has been particularly devastating as the lava flows have destroyed vast areas that include... Continue reading
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A lucky survivor amidst a typhoon ravaged landscape. Animals are often forgotten victims of disasters. Where the need is greatest, we will be there. ©World Animal Protection/Ezra Acayan 2014 Our Bangkok-based disaster response team is headed to the Philippines to assess the impact and animal needs following Typhoon Hagupit lashing the Philippines over the weekend. We'll be working with local governments and veterinary associations to determine what the needs are and how best we can help. Our initial efforts will be centred in Albay, Legazspi and Masbate. I'll keep you updated as we learn more. I just wanted to let... Continue reading
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While preliminary news reports suggest that human fatalities were low, Typhoon Hagupit is slowly making its way across The Philippines now. The Philippines regularly experiences floods and storm surges brought by typhoons. Filipinos go to great lengths to save their animals, sometimes putting themselves at risk to do so. © Ezra Acayan/World Animal Protection 2014 We're cautiously optimistic that the mass evacuations - among the largest ever in peacetime - have kept people safe. What we now want to determine is the impact the storm has had on the animals. While our Mayon response is focused chiefly on evacuating and... Continue reading
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Another major typhoon is due to make landfall in the Philippines over the weekend. Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, is set to cross a similar path to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which leveled many communities in the Visayas Region last year, killing over 6,300 people and millions of animals. Hagupit's projected path. Graphic courtesy Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) A cat that survived Haiyan, Central Visayas, Philippines. November 2013. During and following disasters animals need the same things as people: shelter, clean water and food. ©World Animal Protection/Chester Baldicantos 2013 Today we have been sharing disaster preparedness advice... Continue reading
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Cyclone Hudhud over India. October 12, 2014 credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration World Animal Protection was in Andhra Pradesh just a few weeks before Cyclone Hudhud wreaked havoc across the Indian state. We were working with villagers and government authorities conducting disaster response exercises and evacuation drills, helping them prepare their animals and themselves for the deadly impacts of storm surges and flooding. A farmer and his sheep on the way to a World Animal Protection disaster drill. Andra Pradesh. September 25, 2014. ©World Animal Protection 2014/CH Ravi Kumar Hudhud was one of the most destructive cyclones to hit... Continue reading
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A few weeks ago, I posted about Mount Mayon, a volcano in the Philippines that was showing dangerous signs of increased activity. Dr. May Cristine Ablaneda. Vice president of PVMA Bicol region volunteered her time to help World Animal Protection keep the animals around Mount Mayon healthy and safe. October 30, 2014. ©World Animal Protection 2014 People and their animals evacuated to camps, and we were in touch with officials we first worked with around the same volcano in 2001 to check on the animal needs right away. Dr Naritsorn Pholperm inspects makeshift shelters in evacaution camps earlier this month.... Continue reading
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We’re just back from Panay island in Central Visayas, Philippines where we completed the last phase of our nearly year long work following Typhoon Haiyan last November. North Cebu, November 2014. ©World Animal Protection 2013 You’ll remember the devastating stories from that time and thanks to you, we were able to help over 17,000 animals in the immediate aftermath. Disaster veterinarian Naritsorn Pholperm administers vaccinations to a cow. North Cebu, November 2013. ©World Animal Protection 2014 But the work did not stop there. Since then, we’ve equipped a mobile veterinary unit with bikes and motorcycles along with veterinary kits so... Continue reading
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Last November, one of the saddest stories we encountered was the Inamarga farm. They’d lost all of their animals and had little hope for the future. We knew we had to help and looking at the damage that was everywhere, it meant starting over from scratch. Buildings were torn apart or blown away, pigs, chickens, cattle and water buffalo drowned or later died from exposure to the harsh sun. The animals had nowhere to go and suffered through the largest recorded typhoon in history. Since then, working with the family, we reconstructed animal shelters using removable roofs made of local... Continue reading
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Most of our global disaster team were in the Philippines last week working on the conclusion of the relief work we began last year following Typhoon Haiyan. Mount Mayon erupting in 1984. Image credit: public domain. While we were there, Alert Level Three was raised for Mount Mayon, a volcano in the Philippines surrounded by many human and animal communities. We knew this volcano from a previous eruption in 2001 where we put into place mass evacuations for animals affected – something that had not happened previously. World Animal Protection was leading a community evacuation drill with people and animals... Continue reading
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We’re back in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia working just outside the 5 kilometre exclusion zone around Mount Sinabung. We're here to monitor and evaluate the work we did in January and February when we came to assist the evacuation and feeding of livestock from villages in the danger zone surrounding the erupting volcano. Our Asia Pacific Disaster Team Leader Steven Clegg checking on a cow with Mount Sinabung erupting in the background. Our first stop was the volcano observatory where we met with volcanologists for an update on the eruptions. With steam, ash and rockfalls visible on the volcano, it came... Continue reading
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The tragic news this week that Mount Sinabung’s ongoing eruptions claimed an additional sixteen human lives is a reminder how deadly and devastating natural disasters can be. Dr. Naritsorn Pholperm approaches a cow in the danger zone around Mt. Sinabung. February 8, 2014 (Gembong Nusantara) We were in Sinabung, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia earlier this month where we helped hundreds of animals living in the ash-covered wasteland surrounding the volcano. Sinabung recently came back to life after 400 years of inactivity and has been erupting nearly constantly (50-100 times a day) for several weeks. When our team arrived, we discovered that... Continue reading
Hi - sorry for the very late reply. We've been incredibly busy responding to multiple disasters in the region. Our CEO, Mike Baker wrote on this very topic today: http://ind.pn/19Y8jyU If you'd like to see a future blog post exploring this concept, please let me know. Cheers, Scott
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It was early morning but the sun’s intensity was enough to wear you out after only a few minutes. We were on our way to Malalison Island – a tiny bump in the ocean about a half hour by motorboat from the west coast of Panay. The World Animal Protection team setting out, with Malalison in the distance We’d heard from our local partners that little was known of the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on Malalison as communications had been severed. We knew they were mostly fisherman and farmers and they were directly in the storm’s path so we expected... Continue reading
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Today I met a family whose story of Typhoon Haiyan broke my heart. Nenita Inamarga 63 and her daughter in law Jeniffer Inamarga 35 described the horror that devastated their farm on the afternoon of November 8 and has left them scared and without hope ever since. “We heard on the radio that the typhoon was coming but they predicted it would be signal one (the lowest on the Philippines ranking category),” Jeniffer said. “But then around midnight on the eighth, it was upgraded to signal 4 (the strongest).” Jeniffer and her daughter Ruth Inamarga in front of their chicken... Continue reading