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Johnson County Humane Society

rescues  •  spays/neuters  •  saves lives  •  finds homes


Articles Archive—10/05


Donate to Animal Victims of Katrina

Shortly after 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 F.

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 Now.

One More Thing You Can Do...

The separation 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.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Contact your federal legislators and tell them you want to see animal-friendly sheltering options in every state’s disaster plan.

For more info on Katrina’s animals, see the Disaster Preparedness section of our Resources & Links page.


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JCHS   •   P.O. BOX 2775   •   IOWA CITY, IA  52244-2775


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