Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's displaced pets

With the enormous effects of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast many of us here in the Puget Sound area find ourselves thinking about what they would do if a storm like that happened here. Where would you go with your pets? Would there be anyone there to help you? Do emergency shelters take pets? If Tacoma were hit with a massive hurricane what would you do? Although we can all sit nice and warm and dry while watching rescuers help residents and their pets escape the devastation happening on the other side of the country, the Humane Society has leaped into action and as of yesterday they have arrived and are on site with assistance for the animals.

The Humane Societies Animal Rescue Team has been assembled. Staff members and equipment for disaster response are there to help the affected communities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. There are emergency shelter vehicles, equipment, and personnel present and on standby in Maryland at The Humane Societies main office. They are prepared to head out to affected communities and quickly respond to requests for assistance search and rescues, temporary shelter, transportation, and other needs of the communities.

Humane Society staff have been in contact with many animal shelters and agencies throughout the area to address their needs quickly and effectively. Many of the communities in the affected areas accepted pets at the evacuation shelters, and the Human Society staff has asked local officials to include information about pet friendly shelters in their notifications to the residents of the areas that may need assistance.
You can view the Hurricane Sandy Pet Gallery here

In New York the Humane Society has been working with the city agencies and other animal welfare groups to coordinate the response to the animal related needs of New York as the city has been faced with conditions that they may not have been fully prepared to deal with. Staff members have assisted the residents with locating pet friendly shelters in the affected areas. In Connecticut, the Humane Society has asked local officials to open a pet friendly evacuation shelter after receiving reports that there was not one available for two of the Connecticut communities that have been affected by the storm.

At the Cape Wildlife Center, the wind gusts reached 70 miles per hour, and a tree has fallen down on the property, but all of the animals are safe inside. The Center has received some animal patients already and they are expecting more to come in over the days ahead.

Although this is happening on the opposite side of the country from us here in the Puget Sound, we can still help by spreading the word that they are there and by making donations.

The New York City's Office of Emergency Management Animal Planning Task Force has set up a 24-hour hotline for the New York City evacuees who had unable to bring their pets with them before Hurricane Sandy hit. The Humane Society is teaming up with numerous government and animal welfare agencies in making the hotline possible.

New York City evacuees with pets at home can call    347-573-1561   for help reuniting with your animals.

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide. Please click here for information

For the latest information on pet-friendly emergency shelters and other local resources, stay in touch through The HSUS's Twitter feed and Facebook page. (No need to have your own Twitter or Facebook account to see the updates.)

The HSUS's Animal Rescue Team is assembling staff and equipment for disaster response and is poised to help stricken communities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Please make an emergency donation to support our disaster relief efforts.


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