Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais State, has been ravaged by heavy rain and floodings that have left tens of people dead. Rainfall in January was more than 100% higher than the historical average.
Animals in local shelters have been affected by the floods and volunteers are asking for help.
They are asking for pet food, veterinary medication and also for more volunteers to home and care for animals.
One of the affected shelters is Ministério Arca de Noé, in the district of Caiçara in the northeast of the city.
“Our home was flooded and the animals have nowhere to stay. Now the place is in danger of collapsing and catching fire,” says the NGO’s director, Paula Maia. The shelter is home to 70 animals between cats and dogs.
She is asking for donations. “We need everything. Food, medication, cleaning materials, beds, cupboards, tables, anything,” she says.
“Most importantly, we need foster homes for the animals. We need people willing to help,” she told Estado de Minas newspaper.
The rescue group Resgate Rio Arrudas went through a very dramatic situation when they had to rescue animals trapped in the river in the wake of the floods.
Last Saturday, two animals were hauled out of the river using abseiling equipment.
“When we see a call for help on social networks, we gather everyone and rescue,” says Joyce Carla, a abseiling volunteer. “It is dangerous, but we do it anyway.”
She says rescued animals are sent to foster homes. Despite that, they also need donations in food and money to pay for veterinary care.
City and state officials are also also taking donations for dogs and cats to feed and care for the animals affected by the floods.
The university’s veterinary college also launched a campaign to help homeless animals. They are asking for puppy and kitten food, hygiene materials, medication, vermifuges and others.
Zoo animals have also been affected. Last Thursday, a lion, a lioness, a jaguar, seven gorillas and two chimpanzees from Belo Horizonte Zoo were moved to a reserved area due to the heavy rain that lashed down on the Pampulha district, where the zoo is located.