NEW YORK, September 17, 2008 The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has dispersed and pledged more than $75,000 in grant funding to organizations in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, in addition to deploying a team of disaster response experts to assist both states in dealing with the aftermath of animal and animal agency casualties.
The grant funding covers recovery costs, as well as transportation assistance, distribution of food and supplies, and other needs.
“Thanks to the kindness and generosity of our supporters, the ASPCA is able to offer grants and emergency funds to assist organization affected by both Hurricanes Ike and Gustav,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “Over the years, these organizations have shown exceptional commitment and dedication the animals in their care, and we are happy to be able to provide assistance during their time of need.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the ASPCA has already pledged more than $25,000 in pre-assessment grants to the following organizations:
- Animal Aid of Vermillion Parish in Louisiana, for recovery and supplies;
- Walter Ernst Foundation of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, for equine hay drops in southwest Louisiana;
- Habitat for Horses Inc. in Hitchcock, Texas, for emergency hay after destruction of a new barn and sheds, and for 60 horses on site and another 300 in foster care across several states;
- Hopeful Haven Equine Rescue Organization in Shreveport, Louisiana for assistance with removal of hoof stock from flooded areas in Vermillion Parish, as well as hay.
The ASPCA is working closely with the Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART) and other credentialed animal care agencies to assist and provide resources. ASPCA disaster team members are stationed at the Area Command Center at the Texas Animal Health Commission in Austin, Texas, and are currently providing assessments in Liberty County, just north of Galveston, one of the hardest-hit areas.
In addition to its current efforts following Hurricane Ike, the ASPCA distributed $50,000 to the following agencies following Hurricane Gustav, as well as deploying staffing and equipment, to assist animal welfare organizations on the ground. Agencies receiving emergency grants following Hurricane Gustav included:
- Wild Animal Orphanage, San Antonio, Texas, for transport assistance;
- Louisiana SPCA, New Orleans, for food and supplies provided for shelter animals as well as pets of evacuees in the surrounding community;
- Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Birmingham, Alabama, for reimbursement and assistance with gathering and transporting supplies;
- Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana for crates and supplies to relocate animals and restock;
- Animal Rescue New Orleans for recovery, and kennel and food distribution to lower parishes;
- Humane Society of Louisiana, New Orleans, for assistance and assessments throughout Southeast Louisiana;
- Denham Springs Animal Shelter, Denham Springs, Louisiana, for recovery and kennel damage repair.
The ASPCA’s Disaster Response Team includes a veterinarian, veterinary technicians, disaster responders and sheltering professionals. The ASPCA team currently deployed is at the request of the Texas State Animal Resource Team (TXSART), which is supported by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. Rotating teams of ASPCA will be deployed as needed throughout the assessment and recovery period.
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.