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