I wish I could personally thank each of you for everything you have done so far to help animals affected by Hurricane Irene. To each of you who has welcomed an animal evacuee into your home, who has dropped off pet supplies at an evacuation center, who has spread the word directly or through Facebook or Twitter about protecting pets during the storm, who has volunteered, or who has simply kept the East Coast in your thoughts and prayers during this scary time, I thank you.
While the ASPCA is a national organization, we are headquartered in New York City. Many of our employees have had to evacuate their own homes, but still insist on working on our disaster response efforts. We have staff, volunteers and disaster relief experts from around the country working all night in several locations in New York and ready to deploy to the hardest hit areas as soon as Irene arrives.
Throughout Saturday, ASPCA responders visited evacuation centers across New York City to ensure those centers were equipped to care for pets accompanying their human evacuees. We are coordinating the disaster response efforts for animals with federal, state, and local officials as well as with other animal interest organizations.
The ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response Team is called on to assist the animal victims of disasters and cruelty around the country. For example, in 2010, this group engaged in 27 full-scale deployments and more than 120 investigations and consultations to help animals in danger. Despite this breadth of experience, a historic hurricane in New York City will present challenges not seen in other disasters.
Rest assured that the ASPCA is prepared to act fast to aid the animals affected by Irene the best we can. We have a rescue boat and several massive tractor trailers full of supplies ready and waiting to go to the hardest hit areas. None of us knows what Irene’s aftermath will bring, but I can assure you that we will do everything we can to save the lives of animals endangered by this storm.
The storm has arrived in New York City. As the evacuation centers continue to fill with families, the ASPCA is focusing on providing care for their pets. "We expect the full impact of the storm to hit early tomorrow morning and have spent the day preparing and planning our response to any situation that may arise," says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response.
Our responders have been deployed to evacuation centers in all five boroughs of New York City. We’ve also created a hotline that evacuation centers can call to receive additional pet supplies and support.
"Our thoughts are with all of the families bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irene, and with those who are now faced with her aftermath," says Rickey. Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more on this story.
As Hurricane Irene continues its projected course towards New York City, the ASPCA is helping pet parents prepare for the worst-case scenario.
All evacuation centers in New York and New Jersey are required to accept animals. Please don’t leave your pets behind!
Not sure if you’re in an evacuation zone? Visit this map to see if your home falls in a location currently required to evacuate.
All New York City taxis are required to transport pets. The city’s public transit system shut down at noon on Saturday, and the mayor reports that it is unlikely to resume service for several days.
If you haven’t already, please stock up on food, water, batteries, first aid kits and other emergency supplies to keep yourself and your pets safe during a storm or prolonged power outage.
Stay indoors! Irene is a slow-moving storm and will likely result in unpredictable surges and high-speed winds. Keep your pets with you at all times.
ASPCA responders are currently on site at emergency facilities across the five boroughs, and are ready to offer support and relief to the city’s pets and their families. For all the latest on Hurricane Irene and the ASPCA’s response, please stay tuned to ASPCA.org.
As Hurricane Irene threatens a large swath of land along the Eastern Seaboard, the ASPCA is deploying emergency responders to help rescue and shelter animals displaced by the storm. Members of our Field Investigations and Response Team are working closely with the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the OEM’s Animal Planning Task Force to assist with the city’s disaster relief efforts.
The ASPCA encourages pet parents to develop an emergency plan in advance of the storm, and include potential evacuation in that plan. “Disasters threaten the safety of people and animals alike, and it’s often too late to create a plan for your pets when you’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team. For families who must leave their homes, evacuation centers and emergency shelters in New York City will be pet friendly, and people are encouraged to evacuate with their pets. Please call 311 to find an evacuation center. All NYC taxis are required to take animals.
Bring pets indoors at the first sign of the storm. Animals can become disoriented and wander away from home during a disaster.
Arrange a safe haven for yourself and your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification.
Affix a rescue alert sticker to your front door or window to let rescuers know that there are pets inside your home.
Choose a designated caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to do so.
For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in the event of an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips. Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for the latest on this developing story.
Barking is a natural form of communication for dogs. But sometimes your garden-variety doggie conversation can become excessive, and result in headaches for pet parents (and neighbors!). The key to reducing a dog’s problem barking is to determine why he’s barking.
ASPCA behaviorists have identified the following types of barking:
- Territorial Barking in response to those approaching a dog’s turf - Alarm Barking in response to unusual sights and sounds - Attention-Seeking Barking to gain attention or rewards - Greeting Barking to say hello to people and pets - Compulsive Barking in an extremely repetitive way - Socially Facilitated Barking in response to other dogs barking - Frustration-Induced Barking when prevented from doing something
Although these are the most common types of barking, excessive vocalization can also be caused by illness, injury or separation anxiety. Before tackling your pooch’s propensity for chatter, please check with his veterinarian to rule out any medical causes.
So once he checks out medically, how do you figure out which type of barking your dog reverts to? Ask yourself these questions: When and where does the barking occur? Who or what is the target of the barking? What things (objects, sounds, animals or people) trigger the barking?
For treatment of territorial and alarm barking, it’s important to block your dog’s ability to see and hear external triggers. For greeting barking, try to keep your homecomings low key, and stash your pet’s favorite toy near the front door to encourage him to pick up the toy before he greets you or guests. If your pooch seeks attention with his vocal stylings, work on consistently not rewarding him for barking. For example, when your dog starts to bark for attention, you can stare at the ceiling, turn away from your dog or walk out of the room. The instant your dog stops barking, ask him to sit and then give him what he wants, whether that’s attention, play, treats, to go outside or to come in.
Whatever the cause of your dog’s barking, please remember not to punish your dog for barking at certain sounds, like car doors slamming and kids playing in the street, but then encourage him to bark at other sounds, like people at the door. Consistency is key!