United Animal Nations Offers Financial Assistance Grants of up to $500 to Help Southern California Fire Victims Obtain Vet Care, Temporary Boarding for Pets

Animal Evacuation Experts from the Pioneer in Animal Disaster

Assistance Offer Advice for Evacuees, Others, in Disaster-Prone Areas

Oct 26, 2007, 01:00 ET from United Animal Nations

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Animal
 Nations (UAN), the organization that pioneered disaster relief for animals
 20 years ago and provided emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief
 services during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Southern California
 wildfires in 2003, is offering financial assistance grants of up to $500 to
 help victims of the devastating fires in Southern California care for their
     "When people lose their homes and everything they own in a fire, they
 often do not have the resources to pay for vet care for injured pets, or to
 board their pets temporarily until they find a new place to live," said UAN
 President & CEO Nicole Forsyth. "Through our LifeLine Crisis Relief Grant
 program, we can relieve families of the stress of caring for their pets so
 they can focus on rebuilding their lives."
     UAN's LifeLine Crisis Relief Grants can help fire victims with expenses
 for the following:
     -- Veterinary care to treat injury or illness caused by the fire
     -- Temporary boarding
     -- Transporting the animal to a temporary living situation
     UAN will offer qualified individual applicants up to $500 as long as
 funds are available. Since UAN's LifeLine Crisis Relief Grant Program is
 supported solely by private donations, individuals can help keep services
 flowing to evacuees and their pets in need with donations to the Disaster
 Relief Fund by visiting www.uan.org.
     To get eligibility information and apply for a LifeLine Crisis Relief
 Grant, visit www.uan.org or call (916) 429-2457.
     Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS),
 UAN has provided emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services
 during some of the nation's most severe disasters. In addition to those
 named above, UAN also responded to Hurricanes Bret, Dennis and Floyd in
 1999; the Midwest floods in 1993, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and dozens more.
     Give temporary identification for your pet. If you are staying at a
 shelter, hotel or other temporary site, a temporary identification tag with
 your current location information and a cell phone number or other number
 where you can be reached will help you find your pet if you get separated.
     Put safety first. If you are in an unfamiliar place, especially a hotel
 or large evacuation shelter, you will encounter many animals, people and
 children who may have varied experience with animals. Animals can be easily
 frightened in stressful situations and may become aggressive or defensive.
 Keep your pet restrained in a carrier or crate or on a leash at all times
 and avoid having your pet come in direct contact with other pets when
     Watch for signs of illness. Stress or eating different food can cause
 diarrhea in pets, especially dogs. If your dog is experiencing loose
 stools, make sure that fresh water is available at all times. Take dogs out
 for frequent, short walks. If their normal food is unavailable, supplement
 their food with white rice and cottage cheese. If the problem persists,
 consult a veterinarian.
     Comfort your pet. Give your pets extra reassurance and attention to
 help keep them calm. Some animals may find toys, especially long-lasting
 chew toys, comforting. Your animals will appreciate your calm presence and
 soft, comforting voice, and you may find it comforting to spend time with
 them, too.
     Seek assistance. If you find you are unable to care for your pet
 because of destruction of or damage to your residence, United Animal
 Nations is offering LifeLine Crisis Relief Grants to assist pet owners with
 vet care, temporary boarding and transportation. Learn more at www.uan.org
 or call (916) 429-2457.
     Major natural disasters often cause people in unaffected areas to think
 about what would do if disaster struck close to home. To that end, UAN
 offers the following tips for including animals in family emergency
     1. Identify evacuation locations
     If a disaster forces you from your home, always bring your animals with
 you. Identify pet-friendly hotels, boarding kennels, ranches and loved ones
 outside of your immediate area that could accommodate your pets. Practice
 loading your animals into your vehicle so they aren't frightened when the
 real thing happens. Remember, most shelters for humans cannot accept pets
 due to local health department regulations.
     2. Identify pets with tags and permanent microchips
     A microchip, a tiny tracking device, is the single best way to reunite
 lost pets with their families. Inserting a microchip is as quick and easy
 as giving a vaccination; veterinarians and many animal control agencies
 offer the service. Make sure to update your microchip information if you
 move, get a new phone number or change emergency contacts.
     3. Start a buddy system
     If fire strikes while you are not home, your animals could be stranded
 behind disaster lines. Exchange keys and disaster plans with a trusted
 neighbor who can remove your animals in case of an evacuation. Make sure
 your buddy is familiar with the species of animals that you have, and with
 your pets in particular.
     4. Assemble a disaster kit for each pet
     A disaster kit contains food, water, medication and other supplies you
 may not be able to get if roads and business are closed. Assemble a
 disaster kit for each animal in your household and keep it near an exit so
 you can easily grab it if forced to leave.
     5. Take photos of you with your pets
     If you are separated from your pets, photographs can prove ownership if
 you must reclaim them from a shelter. Keep copies of these photos in your
 wallet and in your disaster kit.
     Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is North
 America's leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster
 relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals.

SOURCE United Animal Nations