In response to the tornadoes and flooding in the South, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team is working around the clock to rescue and shelter animals affected by the disaster.
At the request of local authorities and animal welfare groups, the ASPCA has deployed responders to Faulkner County, Arkansas; Franklin County, Kentucky; Pemiscot County, Missouri; and Shelby County, Tennessee, to organize temporary shelters and transport emergency supplies provided by PetSmart Charities. The ASPCA has helped more than 200 animals over the last two days.
“A natural disaster can produce immediate suffering, and we’re pleased to be in a position to provide relief and ensure that any displaced animals receive appropriate care,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response.
Many weather reports are predicting an above-average risk of flooding in the Southeast and Midwest over the coming weeks. Your best move is to develop an emergency plan that accounts for the safety of your pets. Here’s how:
- Obtain a rescue alert sticker, which will let rescuers know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible and that it includes: 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian's phone number.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
- Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
- Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food, medications and pet first aid supplies.
"The best thing you can do for yourself and your pet in the event of an emergency is to be prepared," says Rickey. “It’s also crucial that residents plan to take pets with them when evacuating. If it’s not safe for you to stay behind, it’s not safe for your pets.”
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more news about the FIR Team’s rescue work.