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Animal Victims of Hurricane Katrina Need Your Help

Guest Author - Sandy Moyer

Losing a pet can make the tragedy of a disaster like a hurricane even more devastating. Although some hotels have eased or eliminated "no pets allowed" policies to allow guests from hurricane ravaged areas to keep their dogs, cats, birds and other pets in their rooms, Hurricane Katrina forced many people to leave their homes and flee to public evacuation centers that do not allow pets. Having to leave a family pet behind in order to safely evacuate before a storm must be a heart wrenching decision to make. Many disaster victims who were rescued from their flooded homes in the aftermath of the storm were also forced to leave their pets stranded and alone.

Much help is needed for the thousands of pets now being rescued from the ravages that hurricane. Many of the animals who survived have suffered extreme trauma and need Veterinary care. Finding and being reunited with their pets will be an important part of healing the shattered lives of many people who have lost their homes, their neighborhoods, their jobs, and life as they knew it before the storm.

Hurricane Katrina Donation Banner Numerous humane organizations have moved into the hardest hit areas to rescue and care for misplaced pets....

Please support The Humane Society of the United States in their fund raising efforts to help the animal victims Hurricane Katrina. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. The HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) is conducting a multi-state animal rescue and recovery effort in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. HSUS rescue staff and volunteers trained in animal rescue are coordinating with other organizations through state agencies, FEMA, the American Red Cross, and other national organizations that are active in disaster relief. HSUS teams will assess animal needs, establish pet-friendly shelters, deliver much needed supplies, resources and Veterinary assistance. They are evacuating animals from the most-affected areas, including animals from the Louisiana SPCA, to shelters throughout Texas.

Costs associated with these current efforts are expected to exceed the organization’s previous major disaster responses, which include aiding the animal victims of last year’s tsunami, and responding to the series of hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004. Click Here to make an online donation to the HSUS Disaster Relief Fund.

Other Animal Disaster Relief Efforts and Emergency Services:
The ASPCA Disaster Relief Fund helps shelters and organizations that are impacted by natural disasters. Your donation will go directly to help shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. These efforts help organizations through the recovery process by providing direct support to help rebuild facilities and relocate animals. You can read the ASPCA National Outreach department's on-site reports of hands-on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in their Rescue Diary.

The American Humane Association emergency responders provide humanitarian and emergency relief to families and their pets. Immediately after a disaster strikes, the American Humane Association's Animal Emergency Services teams assess the needs of the affected communities and animal shelters. The teams then help coordinate animal rescue operations and provide emergency care and shelter to animal victims. Click Here to read The American Humane Association Rescue Field Report. Click Here to donate to the American Humane Association Animal Emergency Services.

The American Humane Association's fully equipped Rescue Rig, a self-contained emergency response vehicle with a fully functioning veterinary clinic complete with medical supplies, as well as boats and other equipment for technical rescue, recently arrived in Louisiana stocked with pet food and supplies donated by PETCO.

The PETCO Foundation Hurricane Katrina Emergency "Round Up" Fundraiser will run from now through September 11, 2005, although it may be extended, depending on the need and the amount raised. Each time you make a purchase at a PETCO store, they will ask you to Round Up your purchase to the next highest dollar - and they will donate that difference to the PETCO Foundation. All proceeds go to the PETCO Foundation to support animal welfare disaster relief needs within the Gulf Coast region. You can also make an online donation to the PETCO Foundation by adding a tax deductible donation to your shopping cart. The PETCO Foundation assists with Disaster Response teams from the Humane Society of the United States and from the American Humane Association.Click Here to read more about the "Round Up" Fundraiser or to make a donation.

The American Kennel Club and AKC Companion Animal Recovery are working to provide relief where it is most needed. The AKC CAR Canine Support & Relief Fund is a permanent charitable fund that provides resources, support, funds, and other assistance to search and rescue animals and handlers participating in rescue and recovery efforts in connection with natural or civil disasters. Veterinary units provide support to the canine rescue teams and to non-profit animal shelters and organizations that provide care for domestic animals orphaned or displaced as a result of a natural or civil disaster. You can send tax-deductible donations to the AKC/CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. Dog clubs, shelters or individuals in need of assistance should contact Seekhelp@akc.org or call 1-800-252-7894.

PETsMART Charities provides emergency relief funding to assist pets in times of hurricanes, earthquakes, fire and other natural catastrophes. Your donations will be used for supplies needed at disaster sites... food, crates, cat litter, beds, medical supplies for injured pets, vaccinations for displaced pets to prevent disease outbreak, and repairs to damaged shelters. You can donate at the Charity Dog receptacle inside any PetSmart store in the U.S. All in-store donations through September 30, 2005 are earmarked for Hurricane Katrina emergency relief and other disasters. You can also donate through PetSmart's secure online process or mail your donation directly to PetSmart Charities. Click Here for more information about PETsMART Charities

The North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill pet rescue and adoption organization, has mobilized its Emergency Response Team to help save animals from the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. They will help alleviate shelter overcrowding by transporting homeless animals to the League. Click Here to help support the NSALAmerica Emergency Response Team.

Noah’s Wish, a not-for-profit organization that works exclusively to rescue and shelter animals in disasters, is rescuing animals from evacuated homes in Slidell, Louisiana. A temporary shelter will have the ability to house hundreds of animals. Trained Noah’s Wish volunteers, Veterinarians, and Veterinary technicians will work around the clock to provide medical services, care and much-needed love and affection to these traumatized animals.Click Here to help Noah's Wish.

The Houston Humane Society is giving free vaccines and other services to pet victims of Hurricane Katrina. This non-profit animal shelter receives no federal, state, or local funds and relies solely on donations and special events. They desperately need donations of pet food, towels, collars & leashes, cat litter and money for medical supplies. Heavy-gauge chain link fencing and labor are also needed to build extra kennel space for the influx of animals from Hurricane Katrina. Your tax deductible gift will help them to house, feed, and provide veterinary care to the hundreds of new homeless animals. They will graciously accept donations of cotton swabs, first aid kits, bleach, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, disposable latex gloves and other clinic supplies listed on their website. They are also in great need of copy paper, colored paper and other essential office supplies. Click Here to see the Houston Humane Society's current wish list.

The Houston SPCA is offering free temporary board, shelter, and care to the pets of people streaming out of those states hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. They have so far received more than 600 animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. Many of those pets belong to refugees who are now staying in the Houston Astrodome and Reliant Arena. People needing pet-related information are urged to call the Houston SPCA Hotline at 713-802-0555 from 9 am - 5 pm daily. Monetary donations are needed to help the Houston SPCA care for the hundreds of extra animals in their shelter now and those that they will be taking in and caring for in the coming weeks. Click Here to donate to the Houston SPCA.

Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMATs), with assistance from the American Veterinary Medical Association, provide treatment and aid to animals used in search-and-rescue efforts and treat animals injured in disasters when local Veterinarians are overwhelmed. They also help coordinate animal relief efforts and address public health issues. Comprised of highly trained Veterinarians, Veterinary technicians and support personnel, VMAT teams are organized regionally and can be deployed to any state or U.S. territory within 24 hours. Click Here to help support the AVMF in their efforts to help animals during times of disaster.

Best Friends Animal Society is helping to coordinate animal rescue work with humane societies and local rescue groups in hurricane devastated areas. Their disaster relief teams have already rescued hundreds of abandoned pets and moved them to safe havens. Best Friends teams and volunteers are also hard at work transporting supplies and expanding shelter facilities at various locations. They need volunteers and supplies for their animal rescue and placement efforts. If you can help, please email hrf@bestfriends.org with specific information on how you would like to help as a volunteer, what expertise you may be able to supply and how to contact you. They are collecting funds through the Best Friends Hurricane Relief Fund. All donations will go to rescue efforts for animals in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Locating and Housing Evacuees' Pets:
If your pet has been left behind or you know of one who has been abandoned....
You can send an email to hurricane@bestfriends.org. Include your name and contact information, the address where the pet was left, the pet's name and a description of pet... the species, breed, color and any special markings. Or... call (435) 644-2001, ext. 398 and be ready to supply that information.

Individuals who know of stranded pets are urged to call 1-800-HUMANE-1, if they can provide location information that can be relayed to rescue teams in the field. The HSUS has received more than 1,000 calls in three days with requests to rescue pets who were left behind.

The ASPCA has set up a database to help in the aid and recovery of animals affected by Hurricane Katrina and help families find their lost pets. If you are an evacuee and need to report pets who may be trapped, Click Here for the ASPCA® Hurricane Hotline phone number and email address.

More Ways to Help:
The ASPCA has set up a second database for people who would like to volunteer to help with animal relief efforts. If you are a Veterinarian, a Veterinary technician, an animal handler, or you have emergency or disaster response training, your services are greatly needed. If you are interested in donating goods and want to find out what items are needed by disaster-area shelters or if you wish to register as a volunteer, Click Here for the ASPCA Hurricane Hotline phone number and email address.

Can you open your home to a pet who needs help? Can you provide transportation for pets going to foster homes?
Animal shelters in many locations have opened their doors to provide temporary shelter for pets with families in evacuation facilities that do not allow pets, but many of these facilities are already filled beyond their capacity. Foster families are needed to house and care for these animals until their families reclaim them or they are placed in new forever homes.

The mission of 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com is to help get homeless pets out of shelters and into loving homes. They are compiling a database of foster homes for various emergency response teams. If you are willing to foster a pet left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, sign up here - Hurricane Katrina Foster Homes. If you are a shelter or rescue group with room to take in one or more pets left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, sign up here - Shelters with Room for Katrina Victims. The information you give will be forwarded to organizations heading up the search and rescue effort and to shelters providing temporary sanctuary to pets.

Trained Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers are being mobilized to respond to Hurricane Katrina. There are many other people who have not yet been trained who might be interested in helping, too. If you are interested in being mobilized as a convergent volunteer or if you have supplies or services to donate, you should sign up now to ensure that you will be one of the first to be called, should they be able to utilize non-EARS volunteers.

"Painless" Ways to Donate:
A printer cartridge company will pay top dollar for empty and used printer cartridges and donate 100% of the proceeds to an animal shelter or other New Orleans/Mississippi animal support organization. See Printer Cartridges for Pets in New Orleans.

Protect your own dog with a new vehicle barrier, car seat harness, crate, carrier, or fencing system while helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. Starting immediately, Radio Fence.com will donate a portion of every purchase to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

All proceeds from Homemade Treats for Good Doggies for the month of September will be donated to the HSUS and their Hurricane Katrina fund raising efforts. For each sale of this ebook, BellaOnline will also donate the full price of the ebook to the Red Cross. That means your purchase of this ebook of dog treat recipes will create a donation to the Humane Society of the United States and to the Red Cross!


Hurricanes, flooding from torrential rains, tornadoes, crippling winter storms, wild fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters have and will continue to ravage our country as well as the rest of the world. We must also be concerned about possible chemical, biological and other terrorist horrors. None of us are personally exempt from ever being affected by such tragedy. We should all have a disaster plan for ourselves and for our animals in case a disaster strikes.

To learn how to help protect your pets from disaster, see....

  • Saving the Whole Family
  • The HSUS/CASEY Plan
  • Make Sure Your Pets Will Be Cared For If Tragedy Strikes
  • On High Alert: Emergency Preparedness for You and Your Pets


  • Hurricane Katrina Pet Related News, Articles and Forums:

    Pet Loss Support:

  • The UC Davis Pet Loss Support Hotline
  • In Memory of Pets Message Board


    Please help to support Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts in any way you can. Your generosity can make a great difference in the lives of those who have lost everything. Help the people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina by giving to the Red Cross and help the animal survivors by supporting animal relief efforts.


    Pet Health Insurance for Cats & Dogs


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    Content copyright © 2013 by Sandy Moyer. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Sandy Moyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Bettina Thomas-Smith for details.

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