March 10, 2012
The Humane Society of the United States Provides Help to Storm-Damaged Local Shelter
Hawaii Residents Urged to Include Animals in Emergency Preparedness Plans
HONOLULU — The Humane Society of the United States will issue a $5,000 grant to the Kauai Humane Society for damages sustained during the recent record-breaking flooding. In the wake of these storms and the upcoming March 11 one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, The HSUS also reminds residents across Hawaii to include pets and other animals in their emergency preparedness plans.
Experience demonstrates that the impacts of disaster can be mitigated through advance planning and preparedness.
"It's crucial that pets are brought inside when residents shelter in their homes during a disaster. Plans must be made to take pets with you when evacuating," advised Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for The HSUS. “Sadly, pets left or tethered outside may drown or be injured by floating debris during floods. Animals who are frightened by thunder and lightning are more likely to run.”
Horses and farm animals should also be included in emergency plans. This includes ensuring that trailers are safe and functional if animals must be evacuated. When necessary, high ground must identified and be accessible for animals, along with food and water.
“Fortunately, the recent flooding hasn’t affected our ability to continue to rescue and shelter animals in need. However, we urge residents to remember that if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet,” said Shannon Blizzard, executive director of the Kauai Humane Society.
Whether sheltering in their homes or evacuating, pet owners should ensure that their animals wear a collar at all times, with visible identification, and be microchipped and registered with current owner contact information. They should also have these critical items in supply kits:
- Three-or-more-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof container, and drinking water.
- Bowls for food and water.
- Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
- Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.
- Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
- Small garbage bags.
- For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
- For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport.
Pet owners should contact their local humane society or emergency management office for a listing of pet-friendly evacuation shelters in their area, and be aware that only certain human shelter locations may accept pets. Pet owners should provide emergency pet information and a house key to a neighbor and to a friend or family member outside of their area, in the event a disaster strikes while the owner is not at home.
"Pets Inside" decals, available from The HSUS, should also be posted in the front window of residences to inform responders if a pet is at home.
More than 60 percent of Hawaii households have a pet. A Zogby International poll found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them.
The HSUS’ international arm, Humane Society International, continues to provide funding and direct care to animals impacted by the Japan tsunami, including providing grants for the construction of a second Fukushima animal shelter and free veterinary care to pets living with their familiar still displaced by the disaster. HSI’s on-going work in Japan has been funded in part by GreaterGood.org and other major donors.
Donations to the Kauai Humane Society can be made here. For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare. For updates on Humane Society International’s work in Japan click here.
Media Contact: Heather Sullivan, 240.477.2251; firstname.lastname@example.org