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HSUS Pleads with Federal, State, Local Agencies to Help Rescue Thousands of Stranded Pets

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  • Alexandra Yurkiw
    HSUS Pleads with Federal, State, Local Agencies to Help Rescue Thousands of Stranded Pets Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire Date : Wednesday, September 07,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2005
      HSUS Pleads with Federal, State, Local Agencies to Help Rescue Thousands
      of Stranded Pets

      Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire

      Date : Wednesday, September 07, 2005

      To: National Desk, Environment Reporter
      Contact: Polly O. Shannon of Humane Society of the United States,
      301-721-6440 or pshannon@...
      hannon@...> ; or 800-HUMANE-1; Web: http://www.hsus.org
      WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /U.S. Newswire/ -- With the situation for the
      animals on the Gulf Coast at a critical juncture -- as thousands of
      animals have just a couple of days to live -- The Humane Society of the
      United States (HSUS) is calling for federal, state, and local responding
      agencies to immediately assist with animal rescue efforts.
      "We are throwing unprecedented resources at the problem, but its
      magnitude is beyond our capacity. We need help right now," said Wayne
      Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. "Federal, state, and local assistance
      is critical to our efforts to save the thousands of stranded and
      abandoned pets still out there. We have animal care experts from around
      the country who are rescuing as many animals as we can, and we can also
      take animals rescued by other search and rescue teams."



      The HSUS is swiftly marshalling all its resources and by the end of the
      day expects to have up to 250 people on the ground in Louisiana and
      Mississippi working as part of the organization's Disaster Animal
      Response Teams (DART), rescuing and sheltering the animal victims of
      Hurricane Katrina. Today is the fourth day of the organization's access
      to New Orleans, where its members helped to carry dozens of animals to
      safety, taking them out of houses, picking them up in the streets, and
      collecting them from displaced evacuees leaving the city. For example,
      the group rescued at least 19 cats during break-and-enter operations in
      New Orleans homes, undertaken with permission from authorities.
      "It's truly a race against the clock," added Pacelle. "Our teams are
      working feverishly to rescue as many animals as possible and get out of
      the watery cesspool left behind by Hurricane Katrina, but we can't do it
      alone. We need the Coast Guard, fire departments, local rescue agencies,
      and anyone else who can lend a hand to rescue animals in need."
      The HSUS is compiling thousands of reports of pets in need of rescue and
      working with the Louisiana SPCA to deploy trained, skilled animal
      rescuers to locate, rescue, and evacuate those animals. Upon entering
      New Orleans, they targeted animals stranded at the Superdome as their
      priority goal. There, they rescued dozens of animals relinquished or
      abandoned by desperate evacuees who fled the city to escape Katrina's
      rage. So far, The HSUS has helped to rescue and care for more than 1,200
      animals in Louisiana and Mississippi, including dogs, cats, cows,
      ferrets, horses, chinchillas, as well as a rabbit, duck, pot-bellied
      pig, and seal.
      Teams from The HSUS have rescue shelters set up around the Gulf region,
      including Metairie, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Gonzales in Louisiana,
      and Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Gulfport in Mississippi.
      The HSUS been inundated with more than a thousand calls with requests to
      rescue pets who were left behind or perhaps denied entrance to the
      Superdome or other shelters. Individuals who learn of stranded pets are
      urged to call the HSUS call center at 800-HUMANE-1, provided they have
      location information that can be dispatched to the teams in the field.
      Thousands of concerned citizens have donated to the relief effort by
      calling 800-HUMANE-1 or by visiting http://www.hsus.org
      w.hsus.org:80/> . People who visit the web site can now see video
      footage of The HSUS's DART teams in action in New Orleans. The
      organization has collected more than $8.3 million for disaster relief
      "The outpouring of concern from people around the country has been
      overwhelming," said Pacelle. "They recognize that animals are suffering,
      too. Rescuing abandoned pets can offer some peace of mind to the people
      whose lives have been shattered by this disaster, and The Humane Society
      of the United States is determined to do everything we can to help."
      The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal
      protection organization representing more than 9 million members and
      constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for
      animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine
      protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat
      protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS
      protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation,
      legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington
      and has numerous field representatives across the country.
      /C 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/


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