the hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast, Humane Society
of the United States (HSUS) teams were on the ground determining
the areas where the most critical relief was needed. HSUS
rescue staff and volunteers are continuing to work with
state officials, federal agencies, and other organizations
to evacuate animals from the hardest-hit areas to the safer
periphery. They have also established pet-friendly shelters
and delivered supplies, resources, and medical assistance.
In Louisiana, they’ve
helped set up an emergency facility at the Coliseum in
Baton Rouge where animals are brought, evaluated, and
then transported to safety.
In Mississippi, seven HSUS disaster field teams
conduct damage and needs assessments and provide help
as they find victims from Jackson south to the Hattiesburg
area. Field teams are capable of helping companion animals,
horses, farm animals, and wildlife.
Many of those
who heeded the mandatory evacuation order before Katrina
hit left pets with a supply of food and water, expecting
to come back after a day or two. Since the end of August,
their pets have been locked in flooded houses, no power/no
air conditioning and daily temperatures above 90 degrees
Teams able to
get into badly flooded St. Bernard parish the week of 9/19
for the first time found many animals had drowned.
But HSUS plans
to there as long as it takes. Donate to HSUS
More Thing You Can Do...
of people and pets happens in every disaster, although in
recent years, cooperation between The HSUS and the American
Red Cross has led to some advances. The Red Cross has done
much more to promote pet evacuation planning and to develop
referral lists for those who are forced to relinquish a
pet when disaster strikes. Moreover, The HSUS has been tireless
in trying to persuade relief agencies and humane organizations
of the need for animal-friendly shelter options in every
community. Much of the coordination depends on local authorities,
many of whom are elected by the public.
This time around,
Katrina rescue workers barred pets from buses, shelters,
and other facilities. And the Red Cross does not permit
animals in its shelters. The harsh and depressing fact remains:
In most disaster scenarios, people and their pets
still have to go their separate ways.
have to be like this. Contact
your federal legislators and tell them you want to see
animal-friendly sheltering options in every state’s
For more info
on Katrina’s animals, see the Disaster Preparedness
section of our Resources
& Links page.