NARSC Provides Emergency Sheltering, Rescues for Animals Affected by Historic Floods in South Carolina

National animal welfare agencies collaborate to provide immediate relief to pet owners, animal victims following devastating floods
October 13, 2015

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Members of the NARSC (National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition), including the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), are assisting Georgetown County Emergency Management with emergency sheltering as well as conducting water rescues for animals affected by severe flooding in Georgetown County, S.C. Additionally, the organization has established a distribution center where pet supplies are being provided to residents throughout the community.

In addition to the ASPCA, the following NARSC member organizations are involved in this operation: AHA (American Humane Association); Code 3 Associates; IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare); PetSmart Charities, Inc.; and RedRover.

The Georgetown County Emergency Management called in NARSC to provide relief to local agencies including Saint Frances Animal Center and All 4 Paws who have been working at capacity due to a large number of displaced animals following the storm. Residents who need assistance with emergency sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact the Emergency Operation Center at (843) 545-3273.

“The ASPCA is pleased to be able to offer support through the coalition as this community recovers from the devastating floods,” said Dr. Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team and former NARSC chair. “For many people, pets are part of the family. Our goal is to provide critical resources to rescue and care for animals displaced by the disaster, so that pet owners are able to focus on rebuilding their lives until they can be reunited with their animals.”

“The American Humane Association Red Star Rescue team is there for the families, pets, and shelter animals who have suffered in the wake of this devastating flooding,” said Randal Collins, national director for Red Star Rescue for Animals. “Our hearts break for these two- and four-legged flood victims, but we will do everything in our power to help restore normalcy to this tragic situation. Thank you to our NARSC members, Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, philanthropist Lois Pope, Banfield Pet Hospital, and PetSmart Charities for their generous support.”

"The CODE 3 team, in cooperation with our fellow NARSC partner teams, are in South Carolina doing field assessments and water operations to ensure that animals and their owners are being taken out of harm’s way,” said Eric Bagdikian, president of Code 3 Associates. “We are also working with our corporate partner at Central Garden and Pet to facilitate transportation and distribution of much-needed pet food and supplies."

“IFAW brings more than 13 years of disaster response experience both internationally and in the U.S.,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Disaster Response Manager, NARSC Chair and Liaison to the State of South Carolina. “Much like what we saw 10 years ago after Hurricane Katrina, we are still seeing flood victims refusing to leave their homes because they don’t have a place to keep their animals. Together with our NARSC members, we are giving families in South Carolina a chance to stay together by caring and sheltering their small and large animals.”

“We’re proud to work as part of NARSC to send urgently needed pet supplies to the hardest hit areas of the state,” said Steve Pawlowski, media relations manager for PetSmart Charities. “Through our Emergency Relief program, we were able to provide pet parents with bowls, leashes, collars, food, toys, and more.”

"Our team of RedRover Responders volunteers are on the ground to help animals in South Carolina and give them a safe, comfortable place to recover and reunite with their families," said Beth Gammie, RedRover Emergency Services Manager. "Thanks to the emergency sheltering efforts of our volunteers and all of our NARSC emergency rescue partners, these animals and their families can feel safe and supported during this time of crisis."

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters, including recent wildfires in Lake County, Calif., Hurricanes Sandy and Irene in 2012, the Joplin, Mo. tornado in 2011, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

The ASPCA also has a disaster preparedness mobile app which informs pet owners what to do before, during, and after a disaster, even without Internet connectivity. The app also gives personalized instructions on how to search for and recover a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. For more information on ASPCA’s disaster response efforts, please visit