Four Days After Hurricane Irene, Animals Are Still Reeling

The International Fund for Animal Welfare deploys to New York state to help in relief efforts after Hurricane Irene.

International Fund for Animal Welfare teams on the road to rescue animals stricken by Hurricane Irene.

Four days after Irene slammed into the coast of North Carolina as a category 1 hurricane, humans and animals are still reeling from the disaster.

Our International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Emergency Relief team has been following Irene for over a week now and we were ready to head to North Carolina, New York City or wherever the need was at a moments notice.

Little did we expect to be heading West, not South, from our headquarters in Yarmouth, MA. As many of you have seen, massive amounts of water were dumped over much of Vermont and upper New York State.

There are still several villages and towns literally cut-off after roads and bridges were washed away.

Residents have been left stranded without water or electricity and of course animals have been affected as well. The National Guard has been airlifting food and emergency supplies by helicopter as many of the rivers are still raging, having crested in the last 24 hours.

As we make our way to Cobleskill, NY today we are getting reports of around 40 horses needing immediate rescue and large number of companion animals that need evacuation.

I'm writing this update from the road and with me are IFAW's Disaster Manager Dick Green and Emergency Relief Officers Gail A'Brunzo and Shannon Walajtys. We're pulling our 36-foot trailer, graciously funded by a grant from the Foundation, behind us which equipped with 2 john boats with 15hp motors, crates, capture equipment and everything we need to be self-sufficient (tents, sleeping bags, etc.).

-- MB

Stay tuned for more updates from the field and visit for more information on how you can help the animal victims of Hurricane Irene.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy