NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Wings of Rescue are collaborating to transport nearly 200 homeless animals at risk of being impacted by Hurricane Dorian to animal shelters outside of the storm's path. The unowned animals are being evacuated at the request of the Hilton Head Humane Association and Beaufort County Animal Shelter in South Carolina and will be relocated to shelters in the Northeast where they will be made available for adoption.
This lifesaving transport is made possible thanks to a $250,000 grant from The Rachael Ray Foundation™, a foundation started by television host and philanthropist Rachael Ray to help animals in need and which is funded by a portion of proceeds from each sale of Rachael's pet food, Nutrish®. In addition to this transport, The Foundation's gift will support other disaster relief efforts by the ASPCA.
The following animal shelters are generously accepting cats and dogs from this transport, including the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City: Animal Welfare Society - Kennebunk, Maine; Berkshire Humane Society – Pittsfield, Mass; Brandywine Valley SPCA – New Castle, Del.; Felines and Canines - Chicago; Greater Androscoggin Humane Society - Lewiston, Maine; Second Chance Animal Shelter – East Brookfield, Mass.; Toledo Area Humane Society - Toledo, Ohio.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall, and high winds throughout the next several days as it makes its way up the East Coast. By relocating animals from areas threatened by emergency situations such as this, not only are those homeless animals brought to safety, but much-needed space and resources are made available for displaced pets in impacted communities.
"With natural disasters of Hurricane Dorian's magnitude, we're grateful for the partnerships that make it possible for all of us to save so many lives and reunite devastated families," said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. "We commend Hilton Head Humane Association and Beaufort County Animal Shelter for quickly identifying and acting on the potential need for assistance and thank The Rachael Ray Foundation and Wings of Rescue for helping us move vulnerable animals to safety. We also thank all of the animal shelters and rescue organizations graciously accepting animals in need."
"Wings of Rescue in cooperation with the ASPCA is pleased to be flying nearly 200 cats and dogs who are endangered by the potentially catastrophic Hurricane Dorian in South Carolina to partner shelters and rescue groups that have so graciously opened their hearts to provide safety and new loving families for these wonderful animals," said Ric Browde, President & CEO of Wings of Rescue.
GreaterGood.org also supported this effort by providing much-needed disaster response supplies for shelters in the path of Hurricane Dorian, and for the animal welfare groups that are taking in animals from this transport.
The ASPCA disaster response team remains in ongoing communications with local and state emergency response agencies and stands ready to assist displaced animals and pet owners upon request. In addition to assisting with evacuation efforts, the ASPCA is mobilizing to provide on-the-ground support at an emergency shelter in Raleigh, N.C. for local residents and their pets.
As Hurricane Dorian threatens the East Coast, the ASPCA is sharing lifesaving expert tips on keeping animals safe during a disaster and urging residents in the pathway of the hurricane to include pets in their evacuation plans. To learn how to incorporate pets into preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterpep.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization in North America and continues to serve as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA is committed to its mission of providing effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
WINGS OF RESCUE
Wings of Rescue is a donation-based charity flying large scale transports of endangered pets from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to shelters where there is empty kennel space and where no local shelter pets are displaced by the flights. Founded in 2012, Wings of Rescue has a squadron of volunteer pilots flying rescue missions in their own planes as well as a fleet of chartered cargo planes. Since inception, more than 35,000 pets have flown to safety. To donate, please visit: Wings of Rescue and Facebook.