WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- American Humane, the country's first national humane organization, which has been saving animals in disasters for more than 100 years and deployed its famed rescue team before Hurricane Florence struck to evacuate shelter pets out of the storm's destructive path, has deployed a team including the country's leading water rescue experts to hard-hit North Carolina, bringing with them one of American Humane's giant 50-foot animal emergency vehicles, boats, and critical rescue equipment.
American Humane's newest deployment, which follows its early evacuation of shelter pets in the path of the hurricane to safe havens, was officially requested in a North Carolina operation theater by Code 3 Associates. The rescue team drove a specially equipped emergency vehicle more than 300 miles to reach the devastation, moving from its base in Washington, D.C.
"This is a life-threatening disaster for both people and animals, and the danger is not over," says American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, who had to evacuate with her own dog Daisy from her South Carolina home, and is working with the national media to disseminate critical advice on how to protect themselves and their pets before, during and after the storm. "People may think that once the storm passes, they and their pets are safe. Nothing could be further from the truth. On top of the need to locate and save lost pets, downed power lines, rushing water, dangerous debris, and contaminated water can be deadly. In addition, as landmarks are destroyed or submerged, pets can become disoriented, confused or lost. Many become scared and some become more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs." Complete tips are available at www.AmericanHumane.org.
Resources Stretched with Rescue Teams Deployed in Two Locations Simultaneously
American Humane's resources are being stretched thin with now two animal rescue teams in action across the country, one in the North Carolina flooding, and one in Washington state, where they helped save and are working to rehabilitate 255 dogs – some of them in critical condition – who were freed in two dangerous and filthy puppy mill cruelty seizures. Conditions were so terrible, investigators had to wear hazmat equipment.
"From staggering mass cruelty cases to ever-growing natural disasters, so many animals are in crisis,"says Dr. Ganzert. "We are grateful to the generous people who are sending in donations to help our best friends in their worst times, and to those who made it possible to have lifesaving equipment and supplies at the ready, including philanthropist Lois Pope, Zoetis Petcare, Banfield Foundation, and actress and animal lover Victoria Principal, who generously donated the lifesaving fleet of boats we will be using in our water rescues in North Carolina."
"I first discovered the Carolinas through the great departed author Pat Conroy," says Ms. Principal. "I was fascinated by his vivid and lyrical descriptions of the Carolinas, the beautiful country and the unique personalities of the people who call it home. This compelled me to visit and I discovered a place of great beauty and a welcoming embrace by everyone I met. I am heartbroken that so many have lost their family members, have lost their homes and that this beautiful place has been ravaged by Hurricane Florence. I hope that by rescuing families' pets and reuniting them that there can be a healing step toward reunification and rebuilding. The people of the Carolinas are powerfully determined and I know they will rebuild their beautiful towns. But first we must start with our hearts and that is where every pet lives."
About American Humane and the American Humane Rescue program
American Humane is the country's first national humane organization, founded in 1877. The American Humane Rescue program has been involved in virtually every major relief effort during the past 100 years, starting in World War I when we rescued and cared for 68,000 war horses wounded each month on the battlefields of Europe, the Great Ohio Flood of 1937, Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, the terror attacks on 9/11, the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, Superstorm Sandy, the tornadoes in Joplin and Oklahoma, the Louisiana and West Virginia floods, the California and Tennessee wildfires, and most recently, Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma.
To support American Humane's rescue efforts, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
SOURCE American Humane