As you know, exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac is devastating Gulf Coast communities. Waist-high flooding has forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and as first responders work to rescue people stranded by the storm, the ASPCA is planning rescue operations for stranded and imperiled animals.
The ASPCA’s response to this crisis is only just beginning and is evolving by the minute, but we have taken the following measures:
Our top experts are working closely with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team to plan and execute rescue.
We’re deploying responders to conduct door-to-door rescue of animals in flooded or abandoned homes.
We’re assisting a Louisiana animal shelter facing flooding.
We are supplying boats and other equipment for critical water rescue missions.
We transported animals from a Mississippi shelter to make room for possible Isaac victims.
If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
In preparation for Hurricane Isaac, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team has kicked into high gear and headed to the Southeast, providing communities in need with transport, planning, grants and other assistance.
Today, at the request of the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi (HSSM) in Gulfport, we’re relocating animals from that shelter to the Broward County Humane Society in Florida.
“Having been through Hurricane Katrina and responding to numerous disasters, we learned that by assisting agencies with pre-evacuation efforts and getting animals out of harm’s way, we can greatly reduce the number of animals impacted by the hurricane,” says Dr. Dick Green, FIR Team Director of Disaster Response.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and be part of a collaborative effort to relocate these dogs and give them a second chance,” he adds.
Dr. Green and the FIR team are monitoring the situation closely and have organized sheltering and water rescue teams to support the local agencies as needed.
The ASPCA is also providing emergency grants in communities affected by Isaac, including to the Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team to increase its water rescue capacity.
In a happy coincidence, 89 dogs are making their way from Baton Rouge Animal Alliance in Louisiana to New York aboard a Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team vehicle, part of a scheduled transport arranged through the ASPCA Animal Relocation program. The dogs, mostly small-breed adults and large-breed puppies, will get a second chance at finding loving families at Pets Alive shelters in Westchester and Orange counties.
If you live in an area threatened by severe weather, the most important thing you can do for animals is ensure the safety of your own pets. For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips.
Watch this blog for more updates on the ASPCA’s response to Isaac.