Animal protection groups partner with LA/SPCA to strengthen animal disaster preparedness capabilities
Sacramento, CA (April 4, 2006) – Individuals who participated in the Hurricane Katrina animal relief effort last fall will return to New Orleans this week to better prepare local authorities and residents to care for animals when disaster strikes again.
United Animal Nations (UAN) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), through their Community Animal Disaster Preparedness Partnership, are working with the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA) to provide these resources beginning on April 7:
- Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteer training. Sixty animal lovers will train to join UAN’s 2,600-member strong EARS volunteer corps, so they can care for displaced animals at emergency shelters during future disasters. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 440 EARS volunteers assisted with animal relief efforts at six locations in three states.
- Shelter worker volunteer training. This private training session for area shelter and emergency management personnel will help them prepare for the unique problems animal shelters face when confronted with animal disaster relief and rescue.
- Community disaster planning. UAN staff experienced in animal disaster relief and emergency management will meet with personnel from the LA/SPCA staff and local animal control agencies to review and update animal disaster response plans.
- Rescue Ranch workday. Newly-trained EARS volunteers will work alongside one of Katrina’s notable animal heroes – Lori Wilson, owner of an equine rescue and therapeutic riding center in Belle Chasse – who has cared for dozens of horses displaced by Katrina despite losing her own home. Rescue Ranch was severely damaged by floodwaters; EARS volunteers will erect fallen fences, clear debris, and help with basic horse caregiving tasks, gaining animal handling skills in the process.
“Hurricane Katrina underscored the need to include animals in community disaster response plans,” said UAN program director Karen Brown. “We look forward to returning to New Orleans and helping animal caregivers and residents better prepare for the next disaster.”
“No one wants to see a repeat of the animal tragedies that took place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” said Laura Maloney, executive director of the LA/SPCA. “A day doesn’t go by that we’re not addressing the problem of what worked and what didn’t, and the importance of including pets in future disaster planning is paramount.”
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.
About the LA/SPCA. Chartered in 1888, the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering and to the promotion of respect and humane care for animals. It is the oldest animal welfare organization in Louisiana. Visit www.la-spca.org for more inforamtion.