Saving more animal lives next time around
- Anna, PAL is doing wonderful work! I've been reading your emails and
I have an idea.
Knowing that things are going to get 'tossed' right now, because
we're still in 'Daily Crisis Mode', I'd like to make a suggestion.
I'm not sure how to go about it... but....
I think ASPCA, maybe HSUS too, have Disaster Recovery "programs"..
What about Best Friends Sanctuary? How about we do our homework in
the next 6 months (or so) and check out what's already available to
help people (not much on a local level) evacuate their pets.
One major problem is that people don't plan and humane folks have
their hands full just trying to keep up with litters. People don't
evacuate when they're told to. Maybe Katrina will change some mind-
sets about hurricane parties?? She needs to.
But if the national organizations already have programs, even if
simply educational for humane and rescue groups then we need to start
there and get ourselves educated.
Between all the lists we all are on, we can come up with a very solid
1) Determine WHERE disasters are most likely
to happen... our primary targets?
a) What did we learn from previous
2) What types of disasters the area is most
3) How much time is 'normal' for warning of the
4) What is best method of evacuation?
6) Educational programs for the general public.
Who they need to contact (local humane
network) in case of emergency evacuation.
KNOW THE PLAN IN ADVANCE. (That's asking a LOT
as most people don't plan for tomorrow, let
alone an emergency evacuation.
7) Can local humane and ACO/cities determine by
pet registrations or rabies tags WHO has animals
so that those people can be educated? Perhaps
establish a registry of people who would need
assistance (perhaps Red Cross has something?)
for emergency evacuation, natural disaster.
There are tons of questions and I'm sure some of these questions have
already been answered by someone, perhaps by the national humane
groups. They have the resources and the power to make things
happen. We just need to have the network and the plan/training in
place. "JUST"... hahahahah an abominable task indeed.
WE (humane and rescue) are going to have to make things happen. I
don't see the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.... any of 'those guys'
ever including animals in evacuation. Can you imagine if the Super
Dome people had brought all their animals with them?? There would be
dog fights, children and adults in harm's way, breeding, God only
knows what going on. It's no wonder that the Red Cross, Salvation
Army etc., don't want to take it on. What about rabies??
What about vaccinations, you can't just throw all those people and
animals into an emergency situation without taking into consideration
what is going to happen when you do.
But if we establish a network...
We need to be approaching the national humane groups and now isn't
really a good time because everyone is still involved trying to
recover physically and emotionally from Katrina. In the meantime it
might behoove us, as local yokals to start doing the homework on
what's available, how we can integrate ourselves into the existing
network for people programs, etc... I think we've all seen that no
one group could take this sort of thing on.
I think that everyone in humane has seen what needs to be done. We
just need to have the right people in charge and in place. As dynamic
as the humane community is, this is going to be very difficult.
Everyone splits from a group and starts another group, or just gets
burned out, disbands, etc.. But, I don't think "people" organizations
are willing to take on the tremendous task of including animals in
evacuations, and the vast dangers that evacuating pets with families
is going to present. That's why they haven't done it yet. They
can't even get people to evacuate when they say a #4 or 5 hurricane
is headed their way. Everyone KNEW Katrina was headed towards New
Orleans and Mississippi 4-5 days before it ever hit.
In the next 6-8 months there's going to be a lot of scrambling. I
think something positive can come of
Katrina.. as horrible as that sounds. We MUST learn and turn that
lesson around so the next time it happens more animals and people are
saved. And I don't think asking people organizations to pick up
additional responsiblity is going to work, they couldn't handle the
people problems this disaster presented. When everyone is done
scrambling we need to be able to implement ourselves into the
evacuation and recovery programs. Or establish our own.
What about we start up a Yahoo group, or has someone already for a
local/national humane disaster email list?? :D
I'm copying some of my lists on this but I don't have a broadcast set
up so you won't see which lists I'm posting to. (talk about needing
to get organized!!) There are a ton of us out here... and we're all
over the place. If we see what's in place (and why it didn't work),
and get our 'stuff' together, the next time we'll be better prepared.
Looking forward to some input on this...
I am not really 'online' right now, my mom is going thru some pretty
severe health issues right now, so I've gone no email on all my
lists. Hopefully I'll be back online soon. I'd like to see making
Whatcha' think? Meanwhile, keep up the fantastic work!
Kat Chaplin, a.k.a. The Neuteress of the Night
Ahimsa of Texas, Inc.