2/22/2005 10:00:00 PM
welfare at the heart of trip to Sri Lanka
hand: Brookfield resident Wade Beane (below) spent two
weeks in Sri Lanka after the devastating tsunami, providing
food and vaccinations for animals in relief camps and
villages. (Photo courtesy of Wade Beane)
Wade Beane visited Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami to help stem
a proposed purge of dogs.
By JOE TROST
news first surfaced about the magnitude of the recent tsunami disaster
in Asia, people were stunned at the loss of life in the surrounding
while most thought about humans, the Humane Education Programs (HEP)
focused on the loss of animals in the affected region.
Beane, a Brookfield resident who is the director for the HEP, traveled
to Sri Lanka last month with Noah’s Wish, an international animal
who has a B.A. in humanities from Beloit College and a M.S. in outdoor
education from Northern Illinois University, spent 16 days overseas
and joined forces with local veterinarians. Together they formed
a program that provided food and vaccinations for animals living
in relief camps and devastated villages.
is a non-for-profit agency focused on encouraging kindness and empathy
for both human and non-human animals. It promotes understanding
of diverse habitats and making the world a more humane place.
the tsunami hit, it was complete devastation," said Beane, who has
more than 10 years of education-programming experience. "But once
you got a good mile away from the coast, it wasn’t all that bad.
This was my first international relief effort, so there was a little
to Beane, the magnitude of the disaster left no part of society
untouched. The animal relief operation was overwhelmingly supported
by the local government, human-aid organizations and health-care
officials in Asia.
main goal of heading to Sri Lanka was to stop the government’s proposed
eradication of dogs. Government officials feared for human health,
and felt that the purging of all dogs would help ease the concern.
it was decided that if local services could coordinate with one
another to administer rabies vaccinations to more than 70 percent
of the dogs on Sri Lanka then the suppression could be put on hold.
that in mind, an international gathering of animal welfare organizations
partnered with local veterinarians to help the animals in the surrounding
Jan. 8-23, Beane spent countless hours doing whatever he could to
help aid the relief efforts. The assistance provided to the animals
will result in long-term benefits for the entire nation. Animals
were treated for skin conditions and major health ailments, and
also received food.
pointed out that for those who lived through the disaster and responded
to the call for aid will not soon be forgotten.
were so many people that came to that area from all parts of the
world to help," Beane said. "The instant you got off the plane,
the government did whatever you needed to make things easier.
group worked with the major local veterinarians to help the animals.
I met people from different Red Cross Agencies and religious groups
from all over the world. Together we were able to help a lot."
HEP put together a presentation to help children and adults understand
the crippling effect this and other disasters have had on the world.
addition to the tsunami relief effort, HEP also helps educate children
and adults on the responsibilities necessary to ensure the welfare
and companion and wildlife animals. It shares the opinions of animal
and civil rights organizations in a non-threatening manner, and
encourages free thought and the development of personal values within
the field of humane education.
will be speaking about his experience in Asia at the LaGrange Public
Library on March 14 at 7 p.m.
do plan on going back," Beane said. "I have to raise $1,500 for
a plane ticket. Once I do that, I’ll be able to get back over there
to double check and see how their programs are working."
information may be obtained by calling 387-1101 or visiting humaneedu.com.