I’m touched by the photos of families scrambling to escape the floods in their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Sandy. The images show parents, kids and their pets climbing into canoes to get away. This part is heartwarming - the fact that people are not parting with their pets in the wake of a disaster.
In addition to donating to the Red Cross to help hurricane victims, it’s also important to reach out to animal rescue organizations and shelters that are boarding owned dogs and cats separated from their affected families.
Emily Schneider, Senior Manager of Media and Communications at the ASPCA, suggests checking with local emergency management or animal shelters to find out how to help. “Some shelters are accepting supplies such as towel, pet food, toys,” says Schneider, “but the need depends on state to state and some shelters are looking for volunteers to help care for displaced or owned pets. (Donating) to animal rescue groups who are involved in disaster response efforts is also another way people could help animals.”
The ASPCA is partnering with Petsmart Charities to provide emergency relief. They have set up a distribution center in Syracuse, NY. with 4,000 sheltering supplies ready to be distributed to local rescue groups in need. You can make a donation to the organization online.
The Humane Society is accepting donations via text message; text ANIMALS to 20222 to make a $10 donation to HSUS Disaster Relief Fund.
People are also using social media to reunite pets with their lost families. The Facebook Page Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets posts photos of missing and found pets. People are also using the #hashtag #sandypets to communicate updates on Twitter.
How else can we help pets (and their families) during Hurricane Sandy? Please share your ideas.