|Barked: Sat Sep 3, '05 11:07am PST |
|And another :
In the past few days, we have all watched in horror and disbelief at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
In the midst of this tragedy, all of us at The Humane Society of the United States have been heartened by the tremendous outpouring of support for our disaster relief efforts in the region. I'm proud to say that because of your support, our response to assist animals and their caregivers has been immediate.
Shortly after the hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast, HSUS teams were on the ground determining the areas where the most critical relief was needed. Today, experienced HSUS rescue staff and volunteers are working with state officials, federal agencies, and other organizations to evacuate animals out of the hardest-hit areas. They are also establishing pet-friendly shelters and delivering supplies, resources, and medical assistance.
In LOUISIANA, we’re helping to set up an emergency facility at the Coliseum in Baton Rouge where strays will be brought, evaluated, and then transported to safety. While thousands of people are being evacuated from the New Orleans Superdome and relocated to Houston to be sheltered in the Astrodome, HSUS volunteers are helping transport animals from evacuees arriving at the Astrodome and ferrying them to the temporary shelter, which will be fully operational today.
In MISSISSIPPI, seven HSUS disaster field teams left to conduct damage and needs assessments and to provide help as they find needs from Jackson south to the Hattiesburg area. The HSUS team includes about 35 trained responders and 8-10 vehicles (plus trailers and RVs), including the HSUS Disaster Response Unit. Team capabilities include companion animals, horses, farm animals, and wildlife. The team leaders are pushing very hard to get help to Gulfport, Mississippi, but at this time Route 49 is open only to state-authorized emergency vehicles.
We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts and we expect to be granted more access to the hard hit areas over the weekend. So many pets are trapped and alone, and we are determined to find and rescue them. And we plan on being there as long as it takes.
Again, I want to personally thank you for your generosity at this time. Quite simply, we would not be able to provide the relief needed for stranded and injured animals in a crisis of this magnitude without your help.
HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team
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