May 8, 2009
The HSUS on Standby for Santa Barbara Wildfire Deployment
WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States has been called on by the Santa Barbara Humane Society for possible sheltering and search and rescue assistance as wildfires continue to threaten the area. Members of The HSUS Emergency Services department are monitoring the situation and have a team on standby ready to provide assistance if needed.
"The HSUS Animal Rescue Team has responded to several California wildfires in the past few years, and is ready to deploy at a moment's notice," said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at The HSUS.
Volunteers from United Animal Nations are currently on-site providing sheltering assistance for displaced pets already filling the shelter. More than 300 animals are being cared for at the Santa Barbara Humane Society and the Earl Warrren Showgrounds. An emergency shelter is also being set up with help from PetSmart Charities®, which sent its Emergency Relief Waggin'® full of donated goods such as wire crates, dog food and bedding.
"We are so grateful for the outpouring of support that we have received during this difficult time," said Peggy Langle, executive director of the Santa Barbara Humane Society. "These displaced animals need all of the support we can gather to keep them safe and comfortable in their time of need." Anyone interested in assisting with the rescue and care of evacuated animals should contact the County animal services hotline at (805) 681-4332.
For animal owners in the possible path of the wildfires, The HSUS offers the following tips for ensuring the well being of your companion animals.
- Take your pets with you. The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to take them with you when you evacuate. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed.
- Leave early—don't wait for a mandatory evacuation order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too long to leave safely with your pets.
- Your pets should be wearing up-to-date identification at all times. It's a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area — if your pet is lost, you'll want to provide a number on the tag that will be answered even if you're out of your home.
- Remember to bring along your pets' disaster supply kit filled with a three-day supply of food and water, pet medications, medical records and leashes, carriers and harnesses.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization – backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at humanesociety.org.