Animal Shelters Seek Help After Hurricane Irene

PetMD Editorial
Published: September 29, 2011
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It's been a month since Hurricane Irene touched down across the northeastern coast of the United States. The streets are no longer flooded, the power has been restored, and those homes destroyed by the hurricane are in a rebuilding process. But inside the animal shelters that were affected, the surge is still felt.

They're called "Irene animals," and they have caused a serious capacity concern across state lines. The Humane Society of The United States is among those calling for volunteers and supplies. The HSUS is also asking for any donations to help with sheltering and providing homes for these displaced animals.

"We have dogs living outside here which we normally try not to do. We also have way more dogs inside than normal because of the flood situation," Jennifer Spencer told Her Bradford County Humane Society shelter in Pennsylvania is presently operating with twice the capacity of pets.

North Carolina and Vermont were also hit hard by Hurricane Irene and its record-setting floods. Recently, PetSmart Charities donated 40,000 pounds of pet food for Vermont. The HSUS, meanwhile, gathered 4,000 pounds for North Carolina and offered to assist the National Guard with search-and-rescue missions.

According to a recent ASPCA survey, 45 percent of residents in the northeast United States have no plan of action for handling their pets in the event of an emergency. When preparing for the worst, the ASCPA recommends that owners make a pet emergency kit that includes ID tags, up-to-date identification papers, medical information, first-aid supplies, and food and water. And under no circumstances should you leave your pets behind in the event of an evacuation. Instead, bring them with you or find a temporary caregiver for them.

If you would like to make a donation toward the Humane Society's disaster relief effort, you can do so by visiting their website.

Image: David Shankbone / via Flickr

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