The devastation in Puerto Rico following hurricane Maria is staggering, and the territory will need our help for a long time to come. As with all disasters of this kind, animals are suffering, too. Animal rescue groups from all around the country poured into the areas affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma relatively quickly after the storms passed, but logistics to help humans, let alone animals, in Puerto Rico have been complicated due to its location.Continue Reading
I was nervously watching last weekend as Hurricane Irma made its way through Florida. I have a lot of friends in the state. Many evacuated with their cats, some stayed behind. Thankfully, everyone I’ve been worried about is okay, even though some still don’t have power back. Sadly, not everyone in Florida was as fortunate, and it breaks my heart to think of what so many people and animals went through and are still going through.Continue Reading
It’s impossible for me to wrap my mind around the devastation in Texas following hurricane Harvey. To think about what the people and the animals in the flooded and destroyed areas are going through just breaks my heart. The one bright spot in all of this, to me, has been to see the many images of pets being rescued – a marked difference from what we watched twelve years ago after hurricane Katrina.
Animal rescue groups from all over the country have mobilized to help the animals affected by the storm,Continue Reading
Like so many of us, Gwen Cooper watched the news coverage of the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April with horror. The quake killed more than 8,000 people and injured thousands more. Tens of thousands of survivors are homeless. Even though the news coverage focused primarily on human needs, any large scale disaster always affects animals.Continue Reading
The devastation from Sunday’s earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than 5,000 people and injured thousands more, is almost incomprehensible. Tens of thousands of survivors are homeless. Even though human needs are the focus of media coverage at this time, inevitably, we will start hearing more about the needs of the animals affected by the quake in the days to come.
In a country such as Nepal, whose economy relies heavily on agriculture, helping the animals is not only the humane thing to do, it will be critical to the country’s recovery. Continue Reading
Animal rescue groups across the Mid Atlantic and Northeast are working hard to help animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. While it was heartening to see that we seem to have learned some lessons from Katrina, and that many shelters were accepting pets, pets were lost during the chaos of evacuations, and others are displaced because their guardians lost their homes.
Humane societies and shelters in the affected areas are working hard to provide assistance and shelter to pets and guardians in need. While they may eventually ask for supplies, right now, the thing they probably need the most is money. If you live in the areas that were hit by the storm and can help, contact local shelters to see if they need volunteers or donations. Petfinder.com is keeping a running list of shelters in the affected areas that need assistance. The list is updated daily.
To help pet guardians find their lost pets, Continue Reading
Guest post by Josephia T. Liem
There’s a beautiful monastery by the hills of a conservatory forest in West Java, Indonesia and I had an opportunity to stay there during a religious outing last December. The best part was dinner because, at that time, various indigenous animals from nearby conservatory would go down to the smell of our food and peer at us. Two wild dogs even came round the camp fire and naturally, got a fair share of a healthy meal.
My attention was rather drawn into a quiet, almost invisible presence near my group; a tortoise-shell cat who sat silently as she stared toward us. Whenever someone left the circle, one of the dogs would follow, and the cat would run away, so I think she must have been afraid of the dogs. However, that night I put a plate of rice, chicken (from my group mate) and scrambled egg just outside my room, where she previously sat, and went to sleep.
She Came Back
The next day I woke up rather early, wondering how she was doing,Continue Reading
After the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March, animal rescue groups from around the world came together to help the animals displaced by the massive disaster. One of the groups which was instrumental in coordinating rescue efforts on the ground in the early days was Japan Cat Network. Nine months later, their volunteers are still working in the affected areas.
The current situation
When the area around the Fukushima nuclear reactor was evacuated, many animals were left behind. Susan Roberts, the founder of Japan Cat Network, says it’s difficult to estimate the number of animals in the evacuated areas. People tend to quote the number of registered dogs in the area (6000 dogs in the 20km evacuation zone alone, and evacuations continue beyond this radius), and there is no requirement to register cats, so there is no telling how many cats were left to fend for themselves.Continue Reading
The devastating tornadoes that left a path of destruction through the South on Wednesday hit particularly hard in Alabama. The storms killed nearly 300 and wiped out entire neighborhood. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who lost so much. It’s almost impossible to wrap your mind around the scope of this tragedy.
As we’ve seen with other recent natural diasters, such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, animals suffer greatly in these situations, too, and as animal lovers, we want to help. Gwen Cooper, the New York Times bestselling author of Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life With a Blind Wonder Cat, wrote a beautiful piece for Psychology Today about the toll these storms have taken on the lives of animals in the affected areas, titled When You Help Animals, You Help Humans.
I’m sure that in the days and weeks to come, animal rescue groups from around the country will mobilize to help the animals in the South, but in the meantime, Gwen has offered up a simple way how you can help. Gwen writes:
“Most of the local veterinary practices in Tuscaloosa have suffered enough damage to be forced to close. One remains open, however–run by Dr. Jimmy Canant and Dr. Paul Bronold.
They have been working literally around the clock–without rest, without breaks, and, most painfully, with barely enough resources–to treat the cats and dogs injured by the tornadoes. Some of the injured animals are brought in by their owners, whose own vets’ offices are non-operational at the moment. But most of the animals being brought in have been separated from their human companions. Nobody knows to whom they “belong,” or who will care for them as they recover, or who will pay for their treatment. Dr. Canant and Dr. Bronold are treating all of them, regardless.
Canant Veterinary Hospital is in desperate need of any support we can provide. They need donations of food and other practical necessities. Most desperately, they need money for medicine and supplies-and money to share with local animal shelters who are also struggling with super-human efforts to make sure that no dog or cat who can be saved is left behind.”
Gwen has created a ChipIn to accept donations. Funds raised will be donated directly to Canant Veterinary Hospital and other local animal service organizations. Click here to donate.
You can also send food or other donations directly Canant Veterinary Hospital at this address:
Canant Veterinary Hospital
1100 Rice Valley Road North
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
Other ways you can help:
A group of Alabama rescue groups has created a Facebook page, Animals Lost and Found From the Tornadoes in Alabama. The group hopes to help reunite pets displaced by the storms.
The Shelter Pet Project is sending out an appeal to adopt animals in or near the affected areas to create room for pets displaced by the tornadoes. Many shelters have been left without water and power, or outright destroyed. The Shelter Pet Projct is featuring pets from these areas on their Facebook page, with contact information to adopt them. Some rescue groups are offering free transportation to out of area adopters.
May 2 update:
The ASPCA’s Field Investigation and Response Team (FIR) is on the ground in various Southern states and is working around the clock to rescue and shelter animals affected by the disaster.
The Greater Birmingham Humane Society is listing lost pets in hopes of reuniting them with their ownes.
May 6 update:
VCA Animal Hospitals announced that select locations are offering free boarding assistance for cats and dogs whose families have lost homes, or have been evacuated, due to storms in the southeast and wildfires in Texas. Click here for more information.
May 8 update:
Here’s an update on how your donations to Canant Veterinary Hospital are helping tornado victims: Alabama animals displaced by tornadoes are getting outside help from bestselling New York author.
I’ll update this post as more information comes in from other organizations.
Photo source: Homer’s Odyssey Blog on Psychologtoday.com
From the publisher: “On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina roared into New Orleans, Louisiana, unleashing a torrent of wind and water that forever altered the landscape. In the ensuing weeks, countless people and animals were rescued from the flood-ravaged city. 8 State Hurricane Kate is the unforgettable story of the powerful bond between a cattle dog rescued from a rooftop and the woman who wouldn’t give up on her.
The heartwarming story of Kate’s post-Katrina journey is a testament to the will and perseverance of the dog and human spirit! As they make that courageous journey together, new worlds open up for Jenny and Kate, an amazing survivor and teacher. Kate’s remarkable journey, a tale of love, courage, and compassion, has inspired many others. Her legacy is a rescue network that continues to help dogs across the country today.”
I found this book to be very moving. The accounts of the author’s experience helping with rescue work immediately following Katrina were gut-wrenching and difficult for me to read, but at the same time, inspirational. Thank goodness for people like Jenny and so many others, who dropped everything to assist the animals in need after this catastrophic event. The book is also the story about how one dog can change a person in ways they never expected. As Jenny becomes more and more involved in rescue works, she forges bonds with others, both dogs and humans, that change her at a core level. I always enjoy reading books about how animal affect the life of the humans they come into contact with – this book is a gripping and touching contribution to this genre.
For more information about the book, and about Jenny Pavlovic, visit http://www.8statekate.net/