KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- At the request of the Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team (LSART), the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) disaster response team is on the ground conducting water and land rescues throughout south Louisiana for animal victims impacted by Hurricane Ida, collaborating on this joint disaster relief effort with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and Code 3 Associates to bring animals to safety. The ASPCA is also supporting local emergency sheltering needs in Jefferson Parish, La. and preparing to support ongoing sheltering needs with an emergency shelter in Knoxville, Tenn. with the Humane Society of Tennessee Valley to provide much-needed housing and care, including medical and behavioral services, for homeless cats and dogs who have been displaced by the storm. The emergency shelter operation in Knoxville, Tenn. is also being supported by FedEx, who is providing complimentary transportation of critical resources.
In addition to mobilizing emergency shelter services, the ASPCA has already assisted in evacuating more than 150 homeless animals out of impacted communities. All of the animals transported out of impacted communities were unowned before the storm hit and will be made available for adoption.
Shelters that opened their doors to take in homeless animals impacted by the storm include: Brandywine Valley SPCA, New Castle, Del.; Humane Society of Tennessee Valley in Knoxville, Tenn.; Massachusetts SPCA in Boston, Mass.; SPCA of Texas in Dallas, Tex., and Tri-City Animal Shelter in Cedar Hill, Tex.
"The bravery and dedication of animal welfare groups and agencies collaborating to move vulnerable animals out of harm's way has been absolutely inspiring, and we're proud to have our specialists among them to assist Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Ida," said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA. "As the work shifts from water and land rescues to operating emergency animal shelters, we will continue to do all we can to support these animals and their owners."
Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29 as a category 4 storm and has caused significant destruction with major flooding, high winds and power outages. The ASPCA disaster response team remains in communications with local and state emergency response agencies and will continue to provide boots-on-the-ground assistance for impacted shelters and displaced animals and pet owners.
The ASPCA deploys nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering, and reunification efforts during disaster situations including wildfires, tornadoes, and floods. In addition, they work closely with local agencies across the country to help enhance their animal response capabilities through grants and training opportunities. The ASPCA also works with lawmakers to increase access to co-sheltering opportunities, a housing approach that keeps people and pets together when they are displaced by natural or manmade disasters.
On the heels of Hurricane Ida, and as we recognize September as National Preparedness Month, the ASPCA is sharing lifesaving expert tips on keeping animals safe during a disaster and urging residents in the pathway of approaching hurricanes to include pets in their evacuation plans. To learn how to incorporate pets into preparedness plans, visit aspca.org/disasterprep.
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.