Sacramento, CA (September 28, 2005) – Today United Animal Nations (UAN) praised U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) for his plans to assess the pet rescue and relief efforts taking place in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Senator Ensign is traveling to Louisiana today to meet with Vice Admiral Thad Allen of FEMA and to assess the ongoing hurricane relief and pet rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast. Ensign, a veterinarian, will also meet with the dean of Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine as well as military, state and federal relief effort coordinators.
Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) program, UAN has been heavily involved in the animal relief efforts in the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina hit late last month. More than 200 trained EARS volunteers have deployed to assist with the operation of three emergency animal shelters in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. UAN’s partners the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Colorado-based Code 3 Associates have led the water rescue efforts in New Orleans.
“Hurricane Katrina’s massive devastation has proven once again that successful animal rescue and relief efforts are critically dependent on the support of federal and state governments, whose policies dictate our actions,” said UAN president and CEO Jennifer Fearing. “We are thrilled that Senator Ensign is focusing on the plight of the thousands of still-unrescued animals and we are grateful for his concern and attention.”
Ensign has expressed his fears that pets left behind in the storms pose a safety risk to rescuers and family members who might return to dangerous areas to try to rescue pets. In addition to meeting with Admiral Allen, today Ensign is scheduled to participate in a Command and Control meeting at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
“Congress will be dealing with the fallout from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for a long time to come, so as a Senator I feel it’s important to see the recovery effort first hand,” Ensign said. “As a veterinarian, I want to make sure the pet rescue efforts are being well coordinated for the sake of the people in that region as well as the animals.”
Founded in 1987, UAN is the nation’s leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals.
News editors and producers: Please include United Animal Nations (UAN), www.uan.org, in any round-up stories and reference lists detailing aid organizations and charities helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. High resolution photos are available upon request.