Morocco Animal Aid: AKI's Grant & Earthquake Response
One of our eight 2023 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program recipients, Morocco Animal Aid's grant project will purchase food for the animals at their four shelter locations in the Agadir Area (Assersif, Alma, Imsouane and Imzi) and provide medical assistance to animals in need.
MAA has about 550 animals at their shelters, including 55 cats, 490 dogs, 3 horses, 18 donkeys, and 1 mule. Many animals arrive at MAA's shelters significantly underweight and MAA has come up with some great ways to save money on food while ensuring that the animals in their care get the nutritious meals they need to recover and maintain health. For example, MAA is working with vendors at the local fish market who now provide their boneless fish waste for MAA to use when cooking meals for the animals. Our grant to MAA will contribute significantly to the animals' food requirements at the four shelters.
Many street animals are involved in road accidents, are victims of abuse, and/or have severe illnesses that can be fatal if they go untreated. Normally, MAA rescues several animals a week who are in need of urgent medical attention. With the grant from AKI, MAA will pay for weekly veterinary visits to ensure that street animals who need urgent care get the veterinary treatment they need. Our grant originally covered 45 veterinary consultations/treatments.
But then the earthquake struck.
We heard from MAA the following day and they told us that MAA's shelters weren't severely damaged, but portions of the shelter walls were destroyed. Some of the animals were terrified, of course, and some dogs escaped. We're all hoping they'll return to the shelter, the place they know, where they get food, water, and love.
MAA also told us that despite their limited resources, they sent a team of three people, Houceine, Fanny, and Yvon, loaded with medicine, animal food, and other supplies to rescue animals in need and to provide medical assistance to people's livestock, donkeys, mules, dogs, and cats. Fanny from MAA reported that a lot of animals are dead under the rubble, which is very hard to witness.
As of now, MAA is helping in the worst hit regions and once the immediate emergency is a bit more under control, they will formulate a longer-term plan.
We have offered to increase our grant funding to Morocco Animal Aid to provide additional funding for vet care that's needed right now and that we are sure will be needed in the near future. We know MAA will have other pressing needs too, so funds that we raise for MAA earthquake response will be available for MAA to use for their most critical needs.
IN THE DONATION FORM, PLEASE NOTE: MAA EARTHQUAKE
WE WILL SEND 100% OF THE FUNDS WE RAISE TO MAA
We don't expect that MAA will be able to raise funds from within Morocco. Already they're getting upsetting comments about helping animals instead of people. Of course we know that helping animals is also about helping the people who rely on them., as this article in Al Jazeera says (https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/9/13/in-midst-of-morocco-earthquake-chaos-surprising-heroes-villagers-donkeys):
"The villagers, used to the mountainous terrain, found a foolproof method to move themselves and materials around: their donkeys.
Photos have emerged of villagers using donkeys to move rubble out of the way, to get relief supplies to more difficult-to-reach spots, and to move people to where they need to go.
The nimble-footed creatures have been able to pick their way along tracks that are barely visible, loaded with bulging saddlebags and sometimes hauling a person on their backs to boot.
Families who lost their homes made shelters wherever they could, making sure to pitch stakes to which they could tie their donkeys. They also made sure to feed and keep taking care of the donkeys who, in these circumstances, have become much more than simple beasts of burden."