ASPCA Mobilizes to Provide Critical Support for Animals Impacted by Devastating Tornadoes

December 14, 2021

Photo from previous ASPCA disaster response.

December 17, 2021

UPDATE:  Following the heartbreaking destruction left in the wake of the recent tornadoes in Kentucky, we've assisted over 200 impacted animals. With many communities in crisis, our teams have been working around-the-clock to support transport efforts getting homeless animals out of the impacted areas—including a transport flight for more than 100 kittens and cats to the East Coast.

In addition to relocation, we are assisting with emergency sheltering, providing medical and behavioral treatment for displaced, homeless animals before they’re made available for adoption.

We will continue to remain in close contact with Kentucky-based emergency management agencies and animal welfare organizations and provide daily care and lifesaving transports as needed, allowing for more space at animal shelters in Kentucky as their communities continue to recover from the devastation.

At the urgent request of the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), we are mobilizing our disaster response teams to provide critical support for animals impacted by the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Southeast and Midwest late last week. We will assist with the evacuation of homeless cats and dogs from Kentucky-based shelters to free up space and resources to care for displaced pets in impacted communities.

We will also be relocating dozens of homeless dogs to an emergency shelter operated outside of the impacted communities where they will receive care from ASPCA staff until they can be placed with partner shelters to be made available for adoption. In addition, we are sponsoring a flight of more than 100 cats and kittens from Kentucky shelters to animal welfare organizations in Massachusetts, including Second Chance Animal Shelter and Massachusetts SPCA, and facilitating the transport of shelter animals to East Coast-based Brandywine Valley SPCA. These cats and dogs were all in Kentucky animal shelters before the tornadoes hit.

“The ASPCA’s priority is to provide local agencies—including the Kentucky Humane Society—with the critical support and resources they need to help animals and pet owners during this difficult time,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response team. “In emergency situations like this, evacuations are often not an option, making the impact of these deadly and unprecedented tornadoes that much more devastating."

Based in Louisville, the Kentucky Humane Society is Kentucky state’s largest animal adoption agency and provides critical support to under-resourced animal shelters in over 35 Kentucky counties, including Mayfield, which was ravaged by the December 11 tornadoes.

“Over the last three years, we have worked closely with our friends at the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter, providing almost 1,000 low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to local pets and transporting more than 1,600 shelter animals to KHS for adoption. We are heartbroken to see this community we love and know so well shattered by these storms,” said Kat Rooks, KHS Kentucky Initiatives Director.

Alongside these disaster response efforts, we are continuing to communicate with Kentucky-based emergency management agencies and animal welfare organizations and remain on standby to provide additional support upon request.