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.
Sirens blared, thunder crashed and a state of emergency was declared following a series of tornados that tore through the state of Missouri. Due to severe flooding, many people were displaced from their homes—and so were hundreds of companion animals.
In response to the disaster, the ASPCA dispatched its Field Investigations and Response Team to assist the Caruthersville Humane Society, the city of Caruthersville and the county of Pemiscot with the emergency rescue and sheltering of displaced pets. So far, nearly 40 animals have been taken to the Caruthersville Humane Society, where they are being triaged, housed and reunited with their pet parents.
“We realize the stress of having to evacuate your home and leave your pet behind,” says Kyle Held, ASPCA Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response. “We’re pleased to be able to offer our assistance to the Caruthersville Humane Society in caring for and reuniting local residents with their companions.”
The ASPCA's custom-built Animal Rescue Transport Trailer is currently en route to Caruthersville, bringing much-needed supplies for responders who are searching for animal victims.
“Staff and volunteers from the local shelter have been working around the clock,” reports Held, “and the ASPCA will continue to provide emergency supplies and support to the surrounding communities as long as we’re needed.”
Residents who wish to report lost pets or request rescue: Please contact the Caruthersville Humane Society at (573) 333-0100, or visit 500 E. Industrial Drive in Caruthersville, Missouri.
The ASPCA’s 2010 Kid of the Year kid has done it again! Eleven-year-old artist and author Olivia Bouler is on a new mission to help animals—and the ASPCA. Last year, Olivia raised thousands of dollars for the animals affected by the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf. She sent watercolor bird illustrations to those who donated to the Audubon Society in honor of the birds harmed by the spill.
In a new partnership with the company ArtStamps, Olivia is using her artistic talents to help animals once again. An imprint of her latest design of her pets, Quinn, and Clara, or any of her other art gallery images, are now available on more than 500 products offered by ArtStamps. And 25% of all sales from Olivia’s gallery will be donated to the ASPCA!
Get Involved! What do you love to do? Just like Olivia, you can use your favorite activities to help raise life-saving funds for homeless animals. Visit our Get Involved section for more ways you can make a difference!
A BIG thumbs down to Kage Games for its recent launch of a mobile dog fighting game called Dog Wars. The free smartphone app has caused outrage among animal lovers—and for good reason. Players actually feed, train and fight virtual dogs. They can even inject their dogs with steroids, bet virtual money and use a gun to fight the cops during a bust.
Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects notes, “Anything that in any way appears to promote or condone the serious, violent crime of dog fighting is cause for concern. This ‘game’ comes at a time when public outrage and law enforcement concern about dog fighting is at an all-time high, and the public should make this outrage known to those who promote it."
Dog fighting is not a game—and it is certainly no fun for the animals involved. Fighting dogs are often forced to spend their entire lives tethered to short, heavy chains. They receive inadequate care, little socialization and often go for days without access to quality food or clean water. During fights, many die of blood loss, shock and exhaustion. Others, those who are no longer deemed valuable, are simply killed.
Take Action! Dog fighting is a felony across all 50 states. Please visit our Blood Sports section to learn more about the cruelties associated with this barbaric “sport.” And ask your friends to boycott mobile apps like Dog Wars!
On the morning of Wednesday, April 20, a search warrant was executed for the confiscation of 41 dogs linked with multiple dog fighting operations in Halifax, Virginia. Working closely with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the United States Attorney’s Office, the ASPCA assisted in what is being dubbed one of the largest dog fighting busts the area has ever seen.
ASPCA responders have confirmed that many of the dogs exhibited scars consistent with fighting. The dogs were also denied access to clean water and appeared to be underweight. Skin infections and other medical conditions were apparent.
“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” says ASPCA Animal Fighting Specialist Terry Mills. “We are determined to protect our nation’s animals from this form of cruelty.”
All 41 dogs have been taken to an undisclosed location, where veterinarians will examine their medical conditions and temperaments.
In addition to removing the animals and collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case, the ASPCA will collect DNA samples from the dogs and submit them to Canine CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the nation’s first criminal dog-fighting DNA database.
Stay tuned for more breaking news as we continue to cover the case in Virginia.