ASPCA Mobilizes Disaster Response Team to Assist Mississippi Animal Shelter Severely Damaged by Devastating Tornadoes

The ASPCA, with support from Oktibbeha County Humane Society, is helping Amory Humane Society evacuate homeless animals displaced by the storm, supporting emergency sheltering efforts and conducting animal search-and-rescue
March 30, 2023

AMORY, Miss. – At the urgent request of the Amory Humane Society in Monroe County, Miss., the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) quickly mobilized the day after devastating tornadoes swept through Mississippi and Alabama to provide critical support for impacted animals. The ASPCA’s disaster response team is on the ground assisting with evacuation, emergency sheltering and search-and-rescue efforts, distributing pet food and supplies to families impacted by the storm, and helping clean up Amory Humane Society’s shelter, which sustained severe damage. Oktibbeha County Humane Society in Starkville, Miss., is also assisting with emergency sheltering efforts.

“After receiving an urgent request for help from Amory Animal Control following the devastating tornadoes that swept through Mississippi, we immediately mobilized to assist ongoing relief efforts and ensure displaced animals and pet owners receive the critical support they need,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA president and CEO. “Collaboration in response to crises like this is essential, and we commend the animal welfare community for acting quickly to evacuate and secure safe locations for impacted shelter animals. Our rescue and animal care teams will continue to help local animals and families any way we can.”

“The ASPCA arrived less than 24 hours after we reached out, and their compassionate assistance has helped us navigate this disaster, ensuring we can continue supporting our community even as we sort through our own recovery,” said Leigh Ann Hubbard of Amory Humane Society. “When you go through a disaster, it can be overwhelming, and their expertise and kindness have been reassuring and grounding during this challenging time.”

The more than 60 shelter animals in Amory Humane Society’s care at the time of the storm have been safely relocated to shelter partners and an ASPCA recovery facility where they will receive care until they can be made available for adoption. Relocating many of these homeless animals out of state has freed up critical shelter space in Mississippi for stray animals or missing pets in need of temporary boarding until they can be reunited with their families.

“Our thoughts are with all the animals and humans affected by last weekend's storm,” said Oktibbeha County Humane Society Executive Director Michele Anderson. “We are committed to helping our friends in Amory as they recover and rebuild."

The ASPCA remains in close contact with Mississippi-based emergency management agencies and local animal welfare organizations and will continue to provide additional support as needed. This lifesaving work was made possible thanks to support from The Emergency Fund by Rachael Ray Nutrish®.