ASPCA Assists Local Shelters in Evacuating Homeless Animals in Path of Hurricane IdaResidents along the Gulf Coast strongly advised to incorporate pets into preparedness and evacuation plans
GALVESTON, TEXAS—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today is assisting in the evacuation of 28 homeless cats and kittens in the path of Hurricane Ida and strongly urging residents to incorporate their pets into preparedness and evacuation plans. The shelter animals are being relocated at the request of Galveston County Animal Services as they work to evacuate animals from their shelter ahead of the storm making landfall. The cats are being transported by the ASPCA to SPCA of Texas, where they will be made available for adoption. In addition, the ASPCA is helping to evacuate more than 100 additional homeless animals from shelters in Louisiana.
Hurricane Ida is expected to bring heavy rainfall, storm surge and high winds throughout the next several days as it quickly approaches the Gulf Coast. The ASPCA disaster response team is in communications with local and state emergency response agencies and stands ready to assist displaced animals and pet owners upon request.
“Evacuating animals in the path of disasters is a lifesaving aspect of emergency response efforts because it gives homeless animals a second chance while freeing up resources for potentially displaced pets in impacted communities,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response Team. “We commend Galveston County Animal Services for recognizing the urgent need to move these cats out of harm’s way and are grateful to the SPCA of Texas for opening their doors to these animals in need.”
"We are proud to partner with ASPCA to welcome these cats and kittens into our care, where they will be safe from the incoming Hurricane Ida," said Courtney Burns, Interim Vice President of Animal Welfare for the SPCA of Texas. "Our organization will provide these animals with the care they need until we are able to find them happy homes in the coming days and weeks."
"We are grateful to the ASPCA for working with us to evacuate these cats," said Monique Ryans, Interim Director of Animal Services at the Galveston County Animal Resource Center. "While it does not currently look like Hurricane Ida will be headed our direction, we wanted to err on the side of caution - and early - in case there was any change in the storm's path. Partnerships like this are vital when evacuating animals in the path of potential disasters."
As we approach National Preparedness Month in September, the ASPCA is sharing lifesaving expert tips on keeping animals safe during a disaster and urging residents in the pathway of approaching hurricanes to include pets in their evacuation plans.
The ASPCA advises pet owners to take the following steps:
- If you evacuate, take your pets with you. Never leave your pets behind or tether them to poles or trees, which prevents them from escaping high waters and getting to safe areas.
- In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
- Make sure all pets are wearing identification tags with up-to-date contact information. The ASPCA also recommends checking microchip registration information to ensure that contact information is up to date as well.
- Create a portable pet emergency kit with essential items including medical records, water, water bowls, pet food and your pet’s medications.
- Choose a designated caregiver, such as a friend or relative outside the evacuation zone, who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.
For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterprep.