ASPCA Assists More Than 2,800 Animals Impacted by Hurricane Ian and Provides Grant Funding for Affected OrganizationsThe ASPCA’s disaster response team led hurricane relief efforts by assisting with emergency sheltering, animal evacuations, and pet food and supply distribution
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has been on the ground for three weeks providing critical support for pets and shelter animals experiencing the lasting effects of Hurricane Ian. The ASPCA’s disaster response team has assisted more than 2,800 animals impacted by the storm through pet food and supply distribution, evacuation of homeless animals, search-and-rescue efforts, and emergency sheltering support at the request of Lee County Domestic Animal Services. To date, the ASPCA has provided more than 35,000 pounds of pet food and litter locally in the community, assisted in reuniting more than 40 displaced pets with their owners, transported nearly 175 shelter animals out of the disaster zone through pre- and post-storm evacuations, and operated a hotline to field requests for animals and pet owners needing assistance.
“Although weeks have passed since Hurricane Ian made landfall, people and their pets continue to feel the devastating effects of the storm and are relying on the support of local organizations including Lee County Domestic Animal Services as they work to get back on their feet,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response Team. “The ASPCA is grateful to be in a position where we could collaborate with local partners to provide much needed assistance to impacted communities through emergency sheltering efforts, pet food distribution, and pet reunification.”
In addition to providing on-the-ground support to local communities, the ASPCA, alongside other national animal welfare groups part of the Animal Disaster Funding Collaborative, has announced special grant funding available to animal welfare organizations that were directly impacted by Hurricane Ian or were requested to assist impacted organizations. Groups impacted by or responding to the disaster can submit one grant application through a centralized website, which will be reviewed jointly by the five granting organizations. The grants are open to animal shelters, rescues, sanctuaries, food banks, animal hospitals, social services organizations, and government agencies that assist pet owners or animals.
The ASPCA is able to assist animals effected by the storm in part thanks to support from the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust and The Emergency Fund by Rachael Ray® Nutrish®. In addition, multiple national, state, and local organizations have collaborated on these ongoing, joint efforts including: Animal Rescue League of Boston, Cherokee County Animal Shelter, Good Mews Animal Foundation, HALO Rescue, Humane Society of Broward County, Humane Society of Treasure Coast, Humane Society of Vero Beach, Leon County Humane Society, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, MSPCA-Angell, Michigan Humane, RedRover, San Diego Humane Society, Second Chance Animal Services, The University of Florida Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service Team, and the Washington State Animal Response Team.
The ASPCA deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering, and reunification efforts during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes, and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities. The ASPCA also works with lawmakers to support policies that ensure effective disaster planning for animals, including the recent enactment of the Planning for Animal Wellness (PAW) Act, a new federal law requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a working group of experts to review current best practices for animals in emergencies and natural disasters, and if necessary, issue new guidance.
For the latest updates on the ASPCA’s response to Hurricane Ian, please visit www.aspca.org/HurricaneIanUpdates.