ASPCA Disaster Response Team Leading Search and Rescue Efforts for Animals Displaced by Hurricane IanWith support from disaster response partners from across the country, the ASPCA is urgently assisting animals through evacuations, search-and-rescue, emergency sheltering, and pet food distribution
FORT MYERS, Fla. – At the request of Lee County Domestic Animal Services, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is on the ground in Fort Myers, Fla. conducting water and land search-and-rescue and supporting local emergency sheltering and pet food distribution for animals and pet owners impacted by Hurricane Ian. The ASPCA is also providing subject matter expertise to support critical disaster response efforts in Arcadia, Fla. Prior to the storm making landfall, the ASPCA evacuated more than 50 homeless cats from shelters in the path of the storm and is assisting in the transport of more than 80 homeless dogs and cats this week to shelters outside of the disaster zone. The ASPCA continues to engage with impacted shelters to support additional animal evacuation and disaster response needs.
“Helping vulnerable animals and their owners in the devastating wake of Hurricane Ian is a collaborative effort, and we’re dedicated to working with our local partners to provide expert rescue, relocation, direct care, and shelter services for as many animals as we can,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “We are immensely grateful to the many disaster response partners who have stepped up to bring displaced animals to safety and help impacted families care for their pets so those bonds of love and comfort can be protected and sustained.”
This lifesaving work is made possible thanks to support from The Emergency Fund by Rachael Ray Nutrish® as well as the multiple national, state, and local organizations collaborating on this joint effort including: Humane Society of Vero Beach, Leon County Humane Society, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Michigan Humane, RedRover, San Diego Humane Society, and The University of Florida Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service 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 increase access to co-sheltering opportunities, a housing approach that keeps people and pets together when they are displaced by natural or manmade disasters.
For the latest updates on the ASPCA’s response to Hurricane Ian, please visit www.aspca.org/HurricaneIanUpdates.