Haiti and the Importance of Animals


some demographics...

  • about 11 million people in Haiti
  • about 1.2 million dogs
  • about 1 million pigs
  • millions of animals including goats, cattle, horses , donkeys, mules, chickens and turkeys.
  • average annual income is about $400
  • No veterinary school and about 54 veterinarians in the whole country ( 1 for every 68 in the US, but even less in clinical practice)
  • 11 people (often children) die of Rabies each month on average in Haiti.  If that incidence rate occurred in the US, it would be 11 people a day!  Dog bites are the largest cause.
  • A momma goat and her kids may be worth two months income.
  • Subsistance farming is critical to most rural residents.
  • Haiti is about the size of Maryland, and is ten times more densely populated than the US.

Animals often represent a families savings account and may mean the difference of whether families can afford to send children to school.  Some villages are only reachable by horse and donkey path.  Working equines are critical to human survival at this time.  When animals are sick, sometimes with zoonotic diseases, there are human health, economic, and social consequences.  When resources are stretched beyond comprehension, people, animals and the environment suffer.  Each animal can make a dramatic difference in the life of a family and their community.