Animals left behind during floods can drown, starve, become ill and threaten public safety
SACRAMENTO, CA (June 29, 2007) – As severe flooding threatens homes in parts of Texas and Oklahoma, United Animal Nations (UAN) is encouraging residents to take their pets with them if they evacuate. Animals left behind during floods can drown, get injured, fall ill, starve, die, and hamper human evacuation and rescue efforts. Families who must evacuate should:
- Make sure each animal has proper identification. Each pet should have a collar with an identification tag and, if possible, a permanent microchip; these can help people be more easily reunited with their pet if they are separated.
- Seek refuge in a hotel that allows pets. Most hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during disasters. A searchable database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at www.petswelcome.com or www.petfriendlyhotelsandtravel.com.
- Leave animals with friends or relatives or board them at a professional kennel safely out of the flood’s reach.
- Find emergency shelters for animals. Local Red Cross chapters and/or municipal animal control agencies may be able to provide information on the availability of emergency shelters for animals. Find local Red Cross chapters at www.redcross.org.
- Take along an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier, and photos of your animals, which can help prove ownership. Visit www.uan.org for more disaster kit tips
“Animals left to fend for themselves during floods suffer terribly, and evacuees can compound their own stress by worrying about the pets they left behind,” said UAN president Nicole Forsyth. “For both human and animal safety, it is vital that every family include their animals in their evacuation plans.”
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN provides free emergency sheltering and disaster relief services for animals in communities that become overwhelmed by natural disasters or other crises. Since 1987, UAN has responded to 70 disasters, including Hurricane Rita in 2005. With more than 3,200 EARS volunteers in the United States and Canada, UAN can provide the following services to communities in need:
- Set up and operate temporary animal relief shelters
- Evacuate animals from a disaster site
- Rescue abandoned and stranded animals
- Feed and care for displaced animals
- Transport animals and coordinate veterinary care
- Distribute food and supplies to the community
- Reunite lost animals with their caregivers and find permanent new homes for unclaimed animals
Emergency management and animal control agencies in
Texas and Oklahoma can call United Animal Nations at (916) 429-2457
for assistance with animal-related issues.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Raymond, (916) 429-2457.
Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is