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ASPCA Assists Animal Rescue Efforts During Flooding in Midwest

July 5, 2007

NEW YORK, July 5, 2007 — The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was among the first of agencies to help provide rescue and relief efforts to animals stranded or left behind in homes after major flooding this week in the Midwest.

The ASPCA was deployed on Monday, July 2 to Coffeyville, Kansas at the request of Code 3 Associates, Inc., a disaster response agency, and is also working in conjunction with local animal control authorities and under the auspices of the Montgomery County, Kansas Emergency Operations Center.

On Tuesday, ASPCA personnel helped retrieve pets that were left behind in evacuated homes, including 30 dogs and cats, birds, iguanas, several tanks of fish—even a toad. Water rescue and pet evacuation continued on July 4, with another 30 animals retrieved, many by boat, at the request of displaced owners.

Rescue efforts were complicated by a 42,000-gallon crude oil slick in the Verdigris River at Coffeyville after a nearby refinery was struck by flash flooding.

Approximately 750 residents from 200 homes were evacuated in the area being served by the ASPCA.

Tiffany Mahaffey, Disaster Preparedness Manager for the ASPCA, reported that rescue teams also set traps in areas where many dogs and cats were at large. Other animal welfare agencies assisting in the disaster include American Humane Association and the Humane Society of the United States.

The ASPCA is a member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), which is comprised of nine national animal welfare organizations, which include the AHA (American Humane Association), ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Best Friends Animal Society, Code 3, Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Animal Control Association, Society of Animal Welfare Agencies and United Animal Nations.

As waters recede, animal rescue efforts in the area expect to demobilize by the week's end.