Animal welfare organizations are mobilizing to bring relief and support to pet owners devastated by Hurricane Ida this past weekend.
The American Humane Rescue team and one of its 50-foot emergency rescue vehicles are rushing to Louisiana to help animals in the affected areas. Sixteen years to the day after Hurricane Katrina disastrously smashed through New Orleans, the team that mobilized in 2005 to mount the largest animal rescue response in its 144-year history now prepared to evacuate abandoned and vulnerable animals left behind in shelters and take them to safety, making room for an influx of more animals caught in the storm and allow them to serve the community after the storm.
“Hurricane Katrina, which was one of the greatest natural disasters in history, made landfall as a Category 3 storm, leaving 600,000 pets dead or displaced,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “Hurricane Ida has now struck the coast as an even bigger, Category 4, storm with predictions of significant flooding and deadly storm surges. I have approved our American Humane Rescue team’s deployment into the disaster area to get out as many animals in peril as we possibly can.
As is required protocol in a major national disaster, American Humane is responding to an official request from a local organization to assist with what looks to be one of the most powerful storms ever to hit Louisiana. The team, drawing on highly trained volunteers from around the country, is racing to the scene to help and already has strategically placed vital equipment poised for use.
To support the American Humane Rescue team in its efforts, please visit: www.AmericanHumane.org/hurricaneida.
Meanwhile, ahead of Ida making landfall, the ASPCA assisted local shelters along the Gulf Coast in the evacuation of more than 150 homeless animals in the path of Hurricane Ida. At the request of Galveston County Animal Services, the ASPCA relocated 28 homeless cats and kittens to SPCA of Texas on Friday and on Saturday, helped to relocate 23 dogs from Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter in Louisiana to Tri-City Animal Shelter in Texas. Additionally, the ASPCA collaborated with Petco Love to support Brandywine SPCA and Wings of Rescue by sponsoring a flight that was to transport approximately 110 cats and dogs from Tangipahoa Parish to Brandywine and Massachusetts SPCA. All of the animals transported out of impacted communities in advance of the storm are unowned and will be made available for adoption.
The ASPCA disaster response team remained in communications with local and state emergency response agencies and was ready to assist displaced animals and pet owners upon request.
“Evacuating animals in the path of disasters is a lifesaving aspect of emergency response efforts because it gives homeless animals a second chance while freeing up resources for potentially displaced pets in impacted communities,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response Team. “Our assistance to animal shelters in Texas and Louisiana will help move vulnerable animals to safety in advance of the storm, and we stand ready to assist animals in communities impacted by Hurricane Ida.”
The ASPCA deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and reunification efforts during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities.
For more information on how to incorporate your pet into your disaster preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterprep.