For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – With countless victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey still trapped in damaged, unstable, or toppled buildings, PETA is on the ground to help as many animals as possible. As you cover the crisis, the rescuer’s work to save more than 100 dogs, cats, and other animals trapped in these buildings or otherwise left behind—which they’ve continued even after experiencing a 6.3-magnitude aftershock and another with a magnitude over 5 in Antakya on Monday—would make a valuable addition to your coverage. Photographs and video footage from PETA’s rescues can be found here,
Rescuers are climbing into collapsed buildings to find injured animals, whisking starving animals off the street, and even using a crane to reach animals, including a cat PETA’s team affectionately named Leona, after vegan singer Leona Lewis, who had been stuck in a fourth-floor apartment for 12 days, desperate for food and water (video here). Other animals rescued include the following:
- A cat named Talia was found limping from a broken hip.
- A puppy named Valentina had a broken leg.
- Dogs named Sarah, Bruno, and Bear were found abandoned—in Bruno’s case, tethered to a post amid the rubble—on the streets of Elbistan.
- Forty birds were miraculously pulled out of an unstable and abandoned pet shop basement by local rescuers. PETA’s team arranged for them to be taken to a sanctuary—and some of them soon recovered enough from their ordeal to couple up and begin preening each other (video here).
- A puppy named Roberta (video here) had just been rescued from a collapsed building and given to PETA right before Monday’s earthquake hit. The rescue team was loading her and other starving earthquake survivors into their van in Antakya when the quake struck, but they persevered and have now rushed all of these animals, along with dozens of others, to veterinary clinics for urgent care. More animals’ stories are available here.
“As the images of fractured cities in Syria and Turkey fade from our televisions and social media feeds, which they inevitably will, I encourage everyone to continue doing everything they can to help the earthquake victims—of all species—because they really do need all the support they can get,” says PETA U.K. Vice President Mimi Bekhechi, who explains the situation on the ground in this video.
PETA’s rescue team’s work in Turkey is made possible through PETA’s Global Compassion Fund, which helps rescuers respond to animal emergencies around the world at a moment’s notice.
PETA—whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s lifesaving work, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.