October 18, 2018

ASPCA Helps Florida SARC Rescue Animals Impacted by Hurricane Michael

At the request of the Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Florida SARC), the ASPCA has deployed a team of field responders to Bay County, Florida, to rescue and care for animals impacted by Hurricane Michael. We are currently assisting with search-and-rescue efforts and will be supporting the Florida SARC’s emergency shelter for animals displaced by the Category 4 hurricane.

“Hurricane Michael had a catastrophic impact on the Panhandle of Florida, destroying most everything in its path and putting hundreds of thousands of people and pets in danger,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “The ASPCA is proud to work with the Florida State Animal Response Coalition and local agencies to save as many animal lives as possible, and are committed to helping these communities and agencies recover from the hurricane and its aftermath.”

As we continue our response efforts in Florida, individuals looking to report missing or stranded pets should contact the Hurricane Michael pet hotline at 1-800-738-9437. It will be operational from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. ET.

To ensure that we can continue to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice, the following groups are supporting the ASPCA’s disaster response efforts: Louisiana State Animal Response Team, Louisiana; First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Florida; Oregon Humane Society, Oregon; and San Diego Humane Society, California.

The ASPCA is also a part of the Animal Disaster Response Coalition, a collective of animal welfare groups across the U.S. established to enable organizations to focus their efforts on helping animals in crisis by mitigating funding challenges. The Coalition has made grants available to local nonprofits and government agencies who are assisting animals and pet owners impacted by Hurricanes Michael and Florence.

Last year alone, we responded to six disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the California wildfires, assisting more than 37,000 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue and post-disaster relief efforts. Year-round, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team deploys nationwide to assist in large-scale cruelty cases and disaster response operations. In addition, the team works closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities.