Joins UAN in asking residents, animal care workers and government officials to include animals in disaster planning
Sacramento, CA (April 28, 2006) – United Animal Nations (UAN) today announced that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has proclaimed Sunday, May 7 Animal Disaster Preparedness Day across the state to coincide with the organization’s upcoming events in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa to prepare residents and local agencies to care for animals during hurricane season.
Governor Bush joins UAN in asking Floridians to observe Animal Disaster Preparedness Day by properly identifying the animals in their care, assembling a disaster kit for each one, and making family evacuation plans that include their pets. Emergency management and law enforcement officials are also encouraged to recognize the public safety and individual mental health benefits of incorporating animals into disaster plans.
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN rescues and shelters animals displaced by disasters throughout the United States and Canada. Since 1987, UAN has responded to 70 disasters, including Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Charley in 2004.
“An estimated twenty-five percent of caregivers refuse to evacuate without their pets, jeopardizing public safety and hampering disaster relief efforts in the process, so advance disaster planning that includes animals is imperative,” said Tampa resident Raquel Aluisy, EARS Southeast Regional Director. “We are grateful to Governor Bush for raising awareness of this issue by declaring Animal Disaster Preparedness Day across the state.”
An estimated 52 percent of all Florida households include animals, and many of these animal caregivers are elderly, a group often most severely impacted by disasters. Florida has led the nation in implementing pet-friendly emergency shelters and advancing other disaster relief services for animals and their caregivers.
Beginning May 5, UAN will offer a series of animal disaster planning and training events in Florida including:
- Three workshops to train more than 200 new EARS volunteers, preparing them to care for animals at future emergency relief shelters in Florida and nationwide
- Pet-friendly shelter training and a community planning meeting in Tampa
- A free animal disaster preparedness fair in Ft. Lauderdale
- Low-cost pet microchip identification events in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale
- An educational exhibit at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference May 10 and 11
For more information about these training and planning events in Florida, visit www.uan.org.
These events are part of UAN’s Community Animal Disaster Preparedness Partnership, a joint effort with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to provide animal disaster preparedness training, education and planning events in 15 communities nationwide in 2006.
About UAN. Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is North America’s leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals. Visit. www.uan.org for more information.
About the ASPCA. Founded in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane organization established in the Western Hemisphere and today has one million supporters. The ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides national leadership in humane education, government affairs and public policy, shelter support, and animal poison control. The NYC headquarters houses a full-service animal hospital, animal behavior center, and adoption facility. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series Animal Precinct on Animal Planet. Visit www.aspca.org for more information.