Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue: IFAW Saves Dogs and Cats

Thursday, September 1, 2005
Yarmouth Port, MA
Hundreds of pet cats and dogs are in urgent need of care and evacuation from Hurricane Katrina strike zones, while experts estimate hundreds more will require assistance in coming days. In response to this tragic situation, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) is sending in its international Emergency Relief Team to assist with the rescue, a team that was also deployed across Asia in the wake of the devastating tsunami.
During natural disasters, animals are often lost or owners are forced to leave them behind during mandatory evacuations. Local animal groups, whose own facilities have been devastated or destroyed, have requested assistance to deal with the overwhelming situation. IFAW will be teaming up with Code 3, a 78-foot self-sufficient, mobile disaster response unit, and a team from United Animal Nations (UAN) to mount the emergency relief effort.

The team is due to arrive in Baton Rouge today, and will immediately assist with the rescue of 175 animals being temporarily cared for at the Metairie Small Animal Clinic in Metairie just outside New Orleans, Louisiana. The team will then respond to other areas as requested by local, state and federal emergency agencies.

“It is devastating for people in these regions to lose their homes and their possessions.  We hope we can help save their beloved pets, and bring at least some hope to this tragic situation,” said IFAW Program Director AJ Cady.   “IFAW is doing all we can to assist where necessary and reunite as many pets as possible with their concerned owners.”

In disasters, both people and animals often suffer and need care. Pets need to be rescued and helped for their sake, but also for the sake of their owners. In fact, the survival of animals often plays a part in the rebuilding of communities and people’s lives.

IFAW is currently appealing for donations to assist with this critical response. At least US$130,000 is necessary for immediate operations. IFAW has announced that 100% of all funds raised will go directly towards Hurricane Katrina response efforts, including immediate animal care and the rebuilding of animal shelters destroyed. To make a donation visit www.ifaw.org/us/katrina or phone 1-800-932-IFAW (4329).

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