During the past few weeks, as several hurricanes buffeted the southeastern United States and the Bahamas, our team has been working round the clock, bringing much-needed help and relief to animals.
After Hurricane Dorian swept through the Bahamas, claiming dozens of human lives and placing countless animal lives in jeopardy, our Humane Society International team was on the ground, moving through the rubble on Abaco Island to rescue animals and help reunite them with their families.
Stateside, our HSUS teams worked hard to coordinate the transport of 400 adoptable animals from shelters in Florida and South Carolina that were in Dorian’s path, to our shelter and rescue partners in other parts of the country.
This past week, as Tropical Storm Imelda swept through Texas, an HSUS team once again went into the field to help. On Sunday, we coordinated the out-of-state transport of more than 120 cats and dogs from a shelter in a Texas city ravaged by floods.
The animals, who have been up for adoption from Beaumont Animal Care in Beaumont, Texas, are being temporarily housed at the Humane Society of Tulsa. Soon, they’ll be transported to other shelter and rescue partners where they will have a chance to find loving homes.
These animals are safe, but we are in peak hurricane season right now, and we expect more calls for help to come our way. We’ll be ready, as always.
Through years of such work, we have developed a response strategy for both HSUS and HSI that includes swift assessment, appropriate relief and support, including deployment when needed, and long-term investments in reconstruction of animal welfare infrastructure in areas devastated by disaster.
When there is news of a severe storm approaching, we reach out immediately to shelters and agencies in the affected area. We take quick action to move animals to safety before disaster strikes, we intensify our efforts to get the word out to people with pets in the path of the storm, and we plan and prepare for helping to put the pieces back together in the aftermath.
At the international level, our HSI disaster response team came into its own in the wake of the massive Indian Ocean tsunami, which caused tremendous devastation in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India in 2004. In subsequent years, the HSI team deployed to Haiti, Japan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Mexico, Myanmar and China. In just the last two years, the HSI Animal Rescue Team has helped animals in crisis after floods in India, volcano eruptions in Guatemala and earthquakes in Mexico, among other natural disasters.
Stateside, in just the past year, our HSUS Animal Rescue Team was on the job wading through waist-deep waters to pull out animals trapped in floods in South Carolina in September 2018, caring for animals until they could be reunited with their families after the wildfires in California in November, and coordinating transports of animals from Alabama after the state was hit by tornadoes in March, and from Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry in July.
Earlier this month, the team helped rescue dogs and cats and other animals from an alleged cruelty situation in Kansas, and in June they rescued approximately 200 cats and dogs and approximately 150 horses from two alleged neglect situations in Texas.
We are able to maintain these strong, trained animal rescue teams, ready to deploy when disasters strike or other emergencies arise, because of the support of those who care. When our stakeholders look to us for help, it is your generosity that makes it possible for us to respond and help animals.
Please support our domestic lifesaving efforts by making a donation to our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund so we can continue to help animals in crisis. And if you want to support our international efforts, you can donate to our HSI Animal Rescue Fund.