One of our favorite stories of the year belongs to Joy, a young cat who was saved from the streets of New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Our staff at the temporary shelter we set up for storm-displaced animals wasn’t sure if she was a homeless kitty or a lost pet. Weeks passed and no one claimed the skinny, skittish feline.
We folded Joy into our regular population of adoptable animals and discovered she needed extra help learning to trust people. With lots of socialization from ASPCA staff, Joy came out of her shell—but a whole year passed and Joy, our last Sandy cat, still hadn’t found a home.
Finally, in November 2013, Joy was adopted by Rob C., a fellow Sandy survivor who lost his home and business to the deadly storm. Robert saw Joy on the local news—her story resonated with him, and together they are getting a fresh start and making a new life.
Tinker’s family was at work when the tornado hit and destroyed their home. After visiting two shelters searching for their precious pooch and almost losing hope, the family visited OK Humane, where their beloved pup was waiting for them.
This Memorial Day weekend was one of healing and hope for the residents of Moore, Oklahoma. The ASPCA saw the community’s incredible resilience firsthand as many of our responders spent the weekend on the ground in Oklahoma City assisting the heroic sheltering and rescue efforts of Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane).
The ASPCA was happy to lend a hand to OK Humane and provide extra staffing to handle the influx of animals affected by this disaster. In what was truly a joint effort, we also enlisted the support of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Code 3 Associates Animal Disaster Response, RedRover, and SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) to help OK Humane.
We are thrilled to report that dozens of reunions occurred over the weekend, as people who lost everything came to OK Humane and found missing family members. Here are just a few of those heartwarming moments:
Tasha the Pomeranian, another tornado survivor, gets a big hug from her human sister on May 25 at OK Humane.
Porkchop and Asia (pictured above) were brought to OK Humane as strays shortly after the tornado. They were reunited with their pet parents over the weekend.
Chance, a handsome Boxer, suffered facial fractures and a deep wound on his leg as a result of the storm. Over the weekend, Chance was reunited with his guardian at OK Humane after their home was completely destroyed by the tornado. Here he is pictured with ASPCA Director of Planning and Field Operations Joel Lopez.
To learn how you can help pets and people impacted by the Moore tornado, please visit OKHumane.org.
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.