Volunteers trained in emergency sheltering caring for animal disaster victims
June 3, 2011 – California-based United Animal Nations (UAN) has sent trained emergency sheltering volunteers from across the Midwest to care for animals displaced by the massive tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22.
UAN volunteers will provide sheltering assistance for more than 600 animals who were displaced by the tornado and are now residing at a temporary shelter. UAN will deploy 11 volunteers to the emergency sheltering operation, with some traveling from as far as Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Texas to help the animals.
“UAN volunteers are trained in emergency sheltering, and they are ready, willing and able to travel at a moment’s notice to bring animals out of harm’s way and to provide peace of mind to their families,” said Nicole Forsyth, UAN president and CEO. “We at UAN were heartbroken about the devastation this tornado brought to the people and pets of Joplin, and we are happy we can step in to help.”
Distinguished by their red shirts, UAN volunteers are specially trained to care for and shelter large numbers of animals. UAN volunteers provide manpower, free of charge, that enables local animal control and law enforcement agencies to care for people and pets when disaster strikes. UAN volunteers take time off work and travel at their own expense to help animal victims of disasters.
In early May, UAN deployed 14 volunteers to Kennett, Missouri, to care for animals displaced by flooding at a temporary shelter.
UAN was asked to assist in Joplin by the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and will be working alongside other animal welfare groups including Kansas State Animal Rescue Team, American Humane Association, The Humane Society of the United States and Sumter DART. All of these groups have been deployed to Joplin to assist the Joplin Humane Society, which is acting as the lead agency in this rescue mission. Thanks to the combined efforts of these groups, nearly 300 pets already have been reunited with their families.
With more than 3,000 trained volunteers in the United States and Canada, UAN can deploy its volunteers when communities become overburdened by a crisis involving large numbers of animals. In its 24-year history, UAN has responded to more than 120 natural disasters and other crises, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005; the Greensburg, Kansas tornado in 2007; flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2008; and flooding in Fargo, North Dakota in 2009.
- Read more about this response on our Emergency Response Journal.
- Read our pet disaster preparedness tips for tornadoes.
- Support our work: Donate to our Emergency Relief Fund.
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education. Learn more at www.uan.org
MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Raymond, United Animal Nations, (916) 429-2457.