During the stormy weekend, American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue team was in action, doing what they do best – saving lives of precious animals. On Friday, Red Star Rescue pulled into Hollywood, Florida to pick up some precious cargo: 15 dogs who were given a second chance at life. The dogs were loaded onto our well-equipped Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicle, ready for the long drive up the coast, hoping to beat the terrible weather predicted on the heels of Hurricane Joaquin. Continue reading
On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest weather-related disasters in American history made landfall in Louisiana, wreaking havoc, taking more than 1,800 lives, and stranding more than 250,000 pets. American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue team was there on the ground in the days after the storm, rescuing pets and reuniting them with their owners – making families whole again. Continue reading
Washing away dreams and changing lives forever, relentless floods affected several areas of the United States this weekend. In North Carolina, roads were washed out and at least two people were killed after flooding rains hit parts of the state. Several hundred miles to the north, nearly eight inches of rain fell in Philadelphia, where roads were closed and flights were canceled. In Arizona, a tour bus literally floated away after heavy rains caused flash flooding. Unfortunately, however, it’s not over yet – Tropical Storm Flossie is expected to impact parts of Hawaii and the storm could cause “life-threatening flash floods and mud slides” according to the National Weather Service.
The unpredictability of Mother Nature as seen by this weekend’s severe weather is a vivid reminder of why it’s so important to prepare now – before a disaster strikes. Pets should have their own disaster preparedness kits and you should NEVER leave pets behind when you evacuate.
When disaster strikes a community, essential services are often unavailable. So, what can you do to ensure your pet is cared for?
Preparation for pets
- NEVER leave animals behind. Know a safe place where your pets can go if you need to evacuate. Evacuation destinations may include a friend or family member’s home, going to a pet-friendly hotel, or temporarily housing your pet(s) at a boarding facility.
- Always keep your pets’ vaccinations up-to-date.Be sure that all ID tags are properly affixed to your pet’s collar and that they have your current contact information.
- Update your microchip registrations and pet license information to ensure its current and consider including the name and contact information of an out-of-area contact just in case you are unreachable in a disaster zone.
- Prepare a pet emergency kit complete with leashes, collars, extra ID tags, water, food, medications, sanitation materials (i.e. litter and litter box), health/immunization records, and photos to prove ownership.
- Have portable carriers large enough for your pets to stand-up and turn around in ready to go at a moment’s notice.
- Prepare a pet first-aid kit, including your veterinarian’s contact information and an authorization to treat your pets.
- Create a contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, the local American Red Cross, the American Humane Association and out-of-town friends/family.
Preparation for livestock
- Post emergency contact numbers at your barn and/or on your pasture fence.
- Be sure that your animals have some form of identification.
- Have sufficient transportation available for all your livestock or know where to obtain it. Train your livestock how to board the vehicles before an emergency.
- Create a list of neighbors within a 100-mile radius of your home who would be willing to board your livestock if you are forced to evacuate.
- Form agreements with neighboring ranches and farms to help each other with disaster preparation and evacuations.
- Know organizations in your area that are prepared to rescue and house displaced livestock.
- Involve your family and neighbors in establishing an evacuation plan for animals in barns and outlying buildings.
- Make up a kit with leads, halters, equine and bovine first-aid kits, quieting hoods for easy transport, and water.
- Consider your routes of evacuation and ensure that your destination location has all necessary supplies.
- Keep photos, a copy of veterinary records and your ownership papers or brands with you at all times when you evacuate in case you are separated from your livestock.
So, please, prepare now. Share this information with friends and family and support our vital work in rescuing animals affected by disasters at www.americanhumane.org
After more than a month helping the animals and people of the Moore, Oklahoma area recover from a deadly tornado, American Humane Association’s legendary Red Star™ rescue team is finally ending its deployment and I am glad to report that the mission has been a great success. We were able to rescue and/or shelter more than 200 animals, reunite nearly 100 with their families, place some with rescues and get the rest into good, loving homes during an Adopt-a-Thon we held with the city of Moore this past weekend.
We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome from the city officials, county officials, people and press. Following the stunning destruction caused by the EF5 tornado on May 20, Red Star™ quickly mobilized a team of staff and volunteers, our 82-foot Rescue Rig and our 50-foot Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle. Responding to an invitation from Oklahoma that was secured with the help of Miranda Lambert and her MuttNation Foundation, we raced to the recovery zone, covering 2,000 combined miles in just over a day. After assessing the situation and needs for the animals, we assisted with a temporary animal shelter at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
It was a tremendous, emotional experience – and I almost missed it. I had just been hired as the new national director for Red Star Emergency Services, and my proposed start date was July1. But on May 20 the devastating Oklahoma tornado changed everything. We knew we needed to be on the ground in Oklahoma as soon as possible, and after some quick paperwork changes and a scramble to relocate my family, we hit the road to the Sooner State. I found an amazing crew of staff and volunteers ready to save animals, and we working through 18-hour, sometimes 100-degree days together, we soon established the kind of rapport that usually takes years to build. Each and every one of the 18 Red Star workers who helped on this deployment brings a unique skill set to animal emergency situations, and all do a wonderful job of continuing the legacy of this nearly century-old program, which was started by American Humane Association during World War I when the United States War Department asked us to save wounded horses on the battlefields of Europe. Since then, Red Star has been involved with virtually every major disaster response, including Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, the deadly earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, the terror attacks on 9/11, and Superstorm Sandy.
I hope you’ll join me in offering thanks to all those who pitched in to help the animals of Oklahoma in their time of greatest need: Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs and WHISKAS® Food for Cats, sponsored the deployment of the giant Rescue Rig and donated emergency food supplies. Banfield Pet Hospital offered veterinary assistance, along with Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians, which offered vitally needed medicines. Thank you also to philanthropist Lois Pope for donating our newest 50-foot rescue vehicle; actress, entrepreneur and author Victoria Principal for her personal and public support of the effort, and country music star Miranda Lambert and her MuttNation Foundation for helping secure the official invitation needed to provide emergency operations in Oklahoma. We’d like to thank Backstage Coaches for providing a tour bus to give our team much-needed showers and cool catnaps during the long, hot days in Oklahoma. And thanks to PetSmart Charities and Code 3 Associates for supplying and delivering much-needed extra crates. We are also very grateful for our partners who assisted on the ground with operations including NACA, Red Rover, Code 3 Associates, and IFAW. And finally, thank you to all our supporters who sent in the donations that made our deployment to help these animals possible. Because of you, some 200 animals who were desperate, scared, and in trouble are now safe, sound and in loving homes. Thank you. Your help is much appreciated!
I’d like to conclude today by thanking the people of Oklahoma for their hospitality and help during this trying time; we know that the road to recovery may be long, but the spirit and generosity of the people there will prevail. We wish you (and the many new pet owners who took in our grateful animals) all the best!
On Monday June 24, American Humane Association’s legendary Red Star™ rescue team will wrap up its successful month-long deployment in Oklahoma, where we were helping the animal victims of a deadly, devastating EF-5 tornado. Though the cyclone was brief, many of its effects will be long-lasting, a constant reminder of the devastating force of Mother Nature.
Within hours of the tornado’s touchdown and with the help of Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation, which secured an official invitation from the state, we put our Red Star team in motion, heading to the scene with staff and volunteers, our 82-foot Rescue Rig, sponsored by Mars Petcare US, and our 50-foot Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle covering 2,000 combined miles in just over a day. We received a warm welcome and immediately began assessing the situation and assisting the city of Moore with sheltering operations by providing food, comfort, and care to animals in the temporary shelter set up at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. To date we have cared for hundreds of dogs and cats, and successfully reunited 85 with their owners.
But now we need your help for those who we have not been able to place back into their homes. On Sunday, June 23, we and the city of Moore will be hosting an Adopt-a-thon at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds from 1pm to 6pm where pet survivors of the Moore tornado, as well as other pets, hope to have the chance to meet their new families. Adopted animals will have been microchipped, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Pet adoption fees will be $70 with an approved application and the revenue will be used by the City of Moore to start a spay/neuter fund. Oklahoma residency is not required to adopt. The address of the Cleveland County Fairgrounds is 615 East Robinson Street, Norman, Oklahoma 73071.
We invite you to come to the fairgrounds and adopt one of these beautiful, sweet creatures. We have a large number of animals looking for homes, and expect a large turnout, so please be sure to arrive early.
Our Red Star team of staff and volunteers has enjoyed its time in Oklahoma and continues to be amazed by the resiliency and tenacity of the people of the Sooner State. Though this tornado will take months and maybe even years to recover fully, the kind souls of Moore, local volunteers, and help from around the country have banded together to do all they can to bring life back to normal for the hundreds of animals caught in the storm.
Did you or someone you know lose a pet during the May 20th storm in Oklahoma?? Below are some resources which may aid your search.
The Department of Agriculture has set up a public information hotline for animals affected by the May 19 and May 20 natural disasters. If you have lost a pet, found a missing pet that was lost or found a pet in the areas affected, please call (405) 837-7240.
Find a lost pet
- Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry: http://on.fb.me/13YCPbI
- Tornado Animals Lost & Found: http://on.fb.me/12pJQV6
- Moore OK S OKC Lost and Found Pets: http://on.fb.me/12pJSwn
- Oklahoma Animal Lost And Found Tornado Group: http://on.fb.me/12pJT3r
- OKC Area Lost and Found Pets: http://on.fb.me/12pJTAk
- Oklahoma City Lost Pets: http://www.okclostpets.com/
- Oklahoma Livestock: http://on.fb.me/12pJZrR
- Moore, OK Lost Pets: https://www.facebook.com/OKpets