In tropical storm Barry’s path just a few days ago, 120 shelter pets are now sleeping soundly near our nation’s capital thanks to a rescue flight coordinated by the Humane Society of the United States.
On Friday, according to HSUS, 120 adoptable dogs and cats were taken out of St. Landry Parish Animal Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter in Louisiana and put on plane to Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia, which is right outside of Washington D.C.
The animals were evacuated from these shelters because both of the facilities were in the path of tropical storm Barry. Clearing out these shelters prevented the 120 rescues from riding out the storm and its after effects and left both St. Landry Parish Animal Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter with room to help animals displaced, lost and injured during tropical storm Barry.
The shelter pets that flew private to Washington D.C., made the trip safely, and have since been moved into local animal rescues and shelters to continue their search for a forever home.
The HSUS is also working to help the animals directly affected by the storm.
“Our thoughts are with those individuals who are evacuating, and their pets. We’re messaging and reaching out to recommend suitable practices, and working closely with authorities to implement appropriate response actions,” HSUS President and CEO Kitty Block wrote in a statement.
“This is only the start of the hurricane season, and we will doubtlessly be called in to assist with many more such events in months to come,” Block added.
To help protect families and their pets during the 2019 hurricane season, the HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team has put together a list of items that should be in a pet’s disaster preparedness kit, and has provided the helpful tips below.
If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet. Never assume that you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets. Have a list of hotels and motels that accept pets in a 100-mile radius of your home. Keeping in mind that in a catastrophic event, local hotels will fill quickly and may not be available. Make arrangements with friends or relatives in advance to ensure that you and your pets are able to seek shelter in their home, if needed. If housing together is not an option, know the requirements of your kennel or veterinarian’s office for pet boarding. And as a last resort, connect with your local animal shelter to determine if they will offer temporary boarding during the time of crisis. Keeping in mind that they may too be impacted by the disaster and unavailable to house animals.
Have a plan in place for when you are out of town or cannot get home to your pet when a disaster strikes. Find a trusted neighbor, friend or family member and give them a spare key. Ensure that they know your pets feeding and medication schedule, and if using a pet sitting service, find out ahead of time if they will be able to help in the event of an emergency.
If you stay home, do it safely. If your family and pets must wait out the hurricane at home, identify a safe area of your home where you can all stay together. Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened cats may try to hide. Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products that have been stored in the area. Bring your pets indoors as soon as local authorities say trouble is on the way. Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers, and make sure they are wearing identification. If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet’s crate and supplies. Have any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies. If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape. Listen to the radio periodically, and do not come out until you know it’s safe.
If the electricity goes out. If you’re forced to leave your home because you’ve lost electricity, take your pets with you to a pet-friendly hotel or pet-friendly emergency shelter. Your local emergency manager will have information on emergency shelters.