ASPCA Provides Tornado Response and Recovery Grant to Joplin Humane Society in Joplin, Mo.

<p>$100,000 grant in memory of tornado victim allows shelter to continue relief efforts for nearly 850 displaced animals</p>
June 2, 2011

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a $100,000 grant to the Joplin Humane Society in Joplin, Mo., to support disaster relief and recovery efforts as a result of the May 22 tornado that decimated a third of the community and killed more than 130 people.

The grant will be used by the Joplin Humane Society for resources needed to support its operation as well as repair infrastructural damages to the facility. Additional funding will be used for future disaster response and preparedness efforts in the community.

The grant is named in memory of Joplin Humane Society executive director Karen Aquino's step-daughter, Rachel Markham, 31, who perished in the devastating disaster.

"Our thoughts are with Karen and all the people of Joplin who lost loved ones to this tragedy," said Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's senior director of Field Investigations and Response. "The Joplin Humane Society has done amazing work in helping pet owners and animals affected by the disaster, and we wanted to further support their organization with this grant."

"My husband and I are humbled and touched by this gesture," added Karen Aquino, executive director of Joplin Humane Society. "In the aftermath of a disaster like this, assistance from a national organization really makes a difference--they had the capacity to respond immediately and established a plan to help the pets and people in the community. We are grateful to work with the ASPCA in our efforts to reunite pets with their owners and help make families whole again."

On May 23, at the request of the Joplin Humane Society, the ASPCA dispatched its disaster response team to lead emergency sheltering efforts of animals displaced by the tornado that tore through and devastated the town. The ASPCA established the emergency animal shelter the very next day to help pet owners needing temporary assistance sheltering and caring for their pets.

To date, the ASPCA has provided sheltering for nearly 850 animals at the emergency animal shelter and reunited more than 200 animals with their families. The emergency shelter continues to aid rescued animals and displaced pets in the community.

Rickey reported that there are hundreds of animals that are still waiting to be claimed by their owners. "We hope to reunite as many animals with their families over the next few weeks," he said. "And the ASPCA will continue to help as long as we're needed."

For more information on how people can help Joplin Humane Society with its disaster relief efforts, please visit their website.

More Information on the Emergency Animal Shelter :
Location: 5171 North Main Street, Joplin, Mo. 64801 (old Dent & Ding building near the Joplin Humane Society)
Hours: Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To report lost pets or rescue needs, please contact the Joplin Humane Society at (417) 623-3642 or [email protected].