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ASPCA Deploys Disaster Response Team To Provide Assistance Following Hurricane Ike

September 15, 2008

NEW YORK, September 15, 2008 - The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has deployed a team of disaster response experts to assist the state of Texas in dealing with the aftermath of animal casualties following Hurricane Ike.

“We are working closely with the Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART) and other credentialed animal care agencies to assist and provide resources,” said Sandy Monterose, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Community Outreach. “Early tomorrow, we expect our team to be assigned a specific task, which could be animal sheltering, field rescues, or field assessments.” Members of the ASPCA disaster response team arrived at the Area Command Center at the Texas Animal Health Commission in Austin, Texas on Monday, September 15. An ASPCA disaster response trailer, being driven from Gulfport, Miss. by ASPCA disaster team staff, is expected to arrive in Beaumont, Texas, an incident command center, on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to be able to lend our assistance again, both in terms of human resources and equipment, in relief efforts for Hurricane Ike, especially so closely on the heels of Hurricane Gustav,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “By using our resources strategically and making key connections at the local levels, the ASPCA’s Disaster Response team is able to effectively respond to shelters and animals in need.”

The ASPCA’s Disaster Response Team includes a veterinarian, veterinary technicians, disaster responders and sheltering professionals, and was deployed at the request of the Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART), which is supported by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. Formed in February 2006, TXSART addresses the need to coordinate preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for animals affected by disasters in the state of Texas and was developed via a partnership between the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.

Other agencies besides the ASPCA that are lending support to TXSART include American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Noah’s Wish, Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, United Animal Nations, and numerous local and regional groups.

The ASPCA's Disaster Response Team was created in September 2005 as a mechanism to assist with the rescue of animals in crisis during a disaster. As the need grew across the country, the ASPCA responded by deploying the teams nationwide when requested by the agency having jurisdiction.