As many across the country prepare to spend time with friends and family this Memorial Day weekend, our thoughts turn to the good people and pets of Moore, Oklahoma, where many lost everything earlier this week when a tornado devastated the community.
The ASPCA is currently on the ground to support partner shelter Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane) with staffing needs as the facility experiences an influx of animals affected by the disaster. We’ll continue to offer our assistance as needed and will keep you updated as the long road to recovery begins for Moore and its neighbors.
For more information about how you can help the pets and people of Oklahoma, please visit OK Humane. Moore-area pet parents who are searching for a lost cat or dog, please check www.okclostpets.com. The site was set up specifically for this disaster, and OK Humane will update its listings with any incoming animals.
This recent tragedy is the latest in a series of unforgiving weather events. We want to remind folks that the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are a few easy steps you can take to keep your family safe in an emergency:
• Have a Plan. Your “all-family” plan should include how you will transport your animals in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. •Build a Kit. Don’t forget a photo of your pet, medical records, vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions. • Stay Informed. Keep an eye on the weather, learn which shelters house both people and pets, and monitor possible road closures. • Vaccinate and Microchip. If you’re ever required to shelter your pets, you’ll want them protected against disease. Microchipping your pets can be their ticket home.
Tell us: Are you prepared for an unexpected emergency or disaster? Are you on the ground helping the good folks of Moore? Tweet us your answers to @ASPCA using the hashtag #Oklahoma.
On the ground during a previous rescue effort in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011.
As details about the impact and devastation of the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, continue to emerge, the ASPCA stands ready to assist. We remain in contact with local authorities and are prepared to provide our disaster recovery expertise and support once requested. Like all of you, we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery.
For those of us on the East Coast, the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 is still present and fresh on our minds. And most recently, persistent flooding in the Midwest has wreaked havoc on the lives of humans and pets alike. It’s important for pet parents in all parts of the country to be prepared to act in the face of a disaster—and that includes having an emergency plan in place for your pets.
That’s one of the reasons why we joined FEMA to recognize May 8 as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to learn more about the ways you can keep your furry friends safe in an emergency. Here are a few easy steps you can take:
1. Have a Plan. Your “all-family” plan needs to include how you will transport your animals in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. Practice that plan at least yearly and share it with your family and friends.
2. Build a Kit. Don’t forget a photo of your pet, medical records, vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions.
3. Stay Informed. Keep an eye on the weather, follow a projected storm’s path and don’t get caught unprepared. Staying informed also means knowing which shelters house both people and pets, monitoring possible road closures and having alternate travel plans.
4. Know Your Neighbors. It’s best to form a relationship with your neighbors well in advance of a disaster situation.Develop a telephone tree and determine who is home and when. If a disaster occurs while you’re at work, your neighbor may be the only one who can reach your pets.
5. Vaccinate and Microchip. If you’re ever required to shelter your pets, you’ll want them protected against disease. And the single most important piece of advice we can offer is to microchip your pets. It is truly their ticket home.
Guest blog by Deborah Dubow Press, Regulatory Affairs Manager, ASPCA Government Relations
The ASPCA believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more prepared animal facilities are for emergencies, the better responders, like the ASPCA, can stretch our resources and focus our relief efforts when disaster strikes.
That’s why today we applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new regulation requiring all facilities licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act—this includes breeders, zoos, research facilities, dealers, and other exhibitors and intermediate handlers—to prepare emergency plans for protecting and caring for animals during disaster.
While the ASPCA will always provide zealous and expert response to imperiled animals, we believe that animal-related businesses should be prepared to protect their animals in emergency situations. Given the tireless efforts of theASPCA’s FIR Teamand other first responders, mandatory emergency planning is a small thing to ask and a reasonable cost of doing business.
We are hopeful that this new regulation will prevent animals from being harmed during man-made and natural disasters alike. To learn about establishing an emergency plan for your own pets, please visit our Disaster Preparedness page.
This holiday season, homeless pets across the nation are getting much-needed holiday meals thanks to Ellen DeGeneres and Freekibble.com. DeGeneres, who co-owns Halo, Purely for Pets, has teamed with 16-year-old Freekibble.com founder Mimi Ausland to launch the second annual Holiday Kibble Drop.
The initiative will deliver 500,000 meals of all-natural Halo Spot’s Stew to pets in need at 69 shelters— including many along the East Coast that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. One of its stops is the ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn, New York.
Founded by Ausland when she was just 11, Freekibble.com has donated more than 8 million meals to shelters and rescues since 2008. Each day, its website features a new trivia question. Every time visitors answer a question, right or wrong, they earn 10 pieces of kibble for homeless pets. How cool is that?
Helping homeless pets find their forever homes is a cause close to DeGeneres’ heart, too. “Pet adoption is something I’m extremely passionate about. I believe that by working together, we can find good homes for the millions of homeless and abandoned pets out there,” she says.