STATE – American Humane Association’s Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services team has been on the scene in the Northeast corridor for the past two weeks providing essential rescue, treatment, and shelter services, as well as emergency food, supplies, and medicine to cold, hungry and frightened animals caught in the path of Superstorm Sandy.
It is estimated that 30 million pets were affected by the disaster. Animal shelters were hit particularly hard, many losing electricity and unable to maintain or replenish their food supplies and other necessities and because of an influx of animals from families being evacuated and losing their homes in the storm.
This week, American Humane Association joined forces with MARS Petcare US, ROYAL CANIN® Health Nutrition Pet Food, Pfizer Animal Health, and Oil-Dri Corp.’s Cat’s Pride© cat litter to donate over 100,000 pounds of emergency food, supplies, and medicines to animal shelters in Bergen County and Atlantic County, two of the most devastated areas of New Jersey. Connections with shelters across New Jersey were facilitated with the stellar help of animal advocate Karen Talbot-LaSasso, founder of M.O.M.S. Animal Rescue/Animal Aid USA.
While delivering supplies to Humane Society of Atlantic County, American Humane Association’s President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert got to check in on Nick, the 15-year-old boy who asked President Obama for help in rescuing his two cats, Maddy and Bella, left behind in the flood. The animals were found and are now safe and warm along with dozens of other pets who survived the flooding. American Humane Association offered resources to help Nick and his mom, who are now living in temporary quarters while their home is being rebuilt.
“With 62% of U.S. households owning a pet, the need to include animals in emergency plans was – and remains – greater than ever,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and chief executive officer. “Pets form an integral part of American families, and numerous disasters have proven that people will not evacuate from dangerous situations if they believe that they cannot take their pet along or if they feel they do not have a safe place to shelter their pet until they can return home.”
Dr. Ganzert explained that while local, county, and state agencies have protocols for human safety, some have not considered the safety of animals, or what the lack of animal safety can mean for people.
“The failure to include the needs of animals in emergency plans and response efforts not only puts animals at risk of hazards, injuries, disease, and death, but has also been directly related to evacuation failures and serious lapses in public safety,” she said.
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