Alabama tornadoes

What should I do to keep my pets safe during disasters?

With more severe weather threatening the region, it is essential to make a disaster plan for your pets (large and small) now. Make sure all pets are identified with a registered microchip and secure collar with ID. For horses and large animals, use non-toxic spray paint to put your contact information onto their body.

The safest place for you and your pets to be when a tornado approaches is in the basement or a storm shelter underground. Animals often become frightened and hide during extreme weather. Practice bringing your animals to the location you have identified as your tornado shelter space, before a storm looms. As soon as a tornado watch is issued, secure your pets and move them to the safe location. Remember: If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. Always be prepared with a disaster kit.

Our friends at Red Rover have compiled a list of tornado safety tips for pets (large and small).

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What is the HSUS doing to help?

In the wake of the tornadoes, the Humane Society of the United States sent a team to Lee and Barbour Counties in Alabama to provide shelter support and coordinate animal transports. On March 10, a flight coordinated by the HSUS transported approximately 120 dogs and cats who were available for adoption at Lee County Humane Society and Southern Souls Animal League prior to the tornadoes out of the region, to animal rescue and shelter partners on the West Coast. On March 13, the HSUS transported approximately 20 already-adoptable animals to Nashville Humane Society. These transport efforts aim to increase shelter capacity in communities impacted by the tornadoes by providing more room for pets displaced by the storm. Relocating animals also provides relief for the shelters damaged by the storm and gives the already-adoptable animals a second chance at finding forever homes. 

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Where are the animals going?

The Humane Society of the United States works with a network of more than 300 shelter and rescue partners. The HSUS is thankful for partners including Seattle Humane Society, Humane Society for Southwest Washington, Oregon Humane Society, Newberg Animal Shelter, Lincoln County Animal Shelter, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, Hood River Adopt a Dog, Willamette Humane Society and Nashville Humane Association for receiving animals from these transport efforts.

Interested in Becoming a Shelter and Rescue Partner?

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Are you transporting missing pets out of the region?

The animals who are being transported by the HSUS are dogs and cats who were available for adoption in Alabama shelters prior to the tornadoes. Transporting these already-adoptable animals to rescue and shelter partners in other areas of the U.S. increases the capacity of communities impacted by the tornadoes and provides more room for pets displaced in the tornadoes. Relocating the animals also provides relief for the shelters damaged by the storm and gives the already-adoptable animals a second chance at finding a forever home.

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How can I support the HSUS’s work to help animals impacted by the tornadoes?

Your support is urgently needed: both so we can help during this emergency, and so we can be there at a moment’s notice when future emergencies such as natural disasters and animal cruelty cases occur. Please consider making a gift to support all of our preparedness, rescue, care and relief efforts through the Emergency Animal Rescue Fund today.

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What should I do if I am missing a pet?

If you are missing a pet following the tornadoes:

  • Be sure to check in-person at your municipal animal shelter, in addition to filing a missing pet report. Do this in surrounding communities as well.
  • Search your neighborhood, handing out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
  • Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections and other locations. Include your pet’s sex, age, weight, breed, color and any specific markings.
  • Try the internet. There may be a “Lost and Found” page for your community on Facebook or other social media platforms. Alternatively, check other sources such as Nextdoor, Craigslist, Center for Lost Pets, Fido Finder, Lost Dogs of America, Lost Pet USA and Missing Pet Partnership.
  • Don’t give up. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners. If you haven’t already, be sure to always microchip your pet and register their microchip, in addition to having your pet wear a collar with ID tags.

Learn More About How to Find a Lost Pet

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I want to donate supplies for local animal shelters. What should I send?

The best thing for out of state folks to do at this point is donate money and supplies to impacted shelters and those that are taking in animals. Please check with those organizations before sending supplies to make sure what you want to send is actually needed and helpful; many shelters will have lists of their top needs on their websites.

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Support our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund

We never know when disasters will strike or when animals may be in need of urgent rescue, but we know we must be ready. Your support makes our preparedness, rescue, care and relief work possible.


Dog behind a rusty fence

How can I support the Humane Society of the United States' efforts to help animals impacted by natural disasters?

Please support rescue and relief efforts by donating to our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund. Your gift will ensure that our team can continue to answer the call during times of emergency wherever and whenever animals need us.

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Where can owners find their pets if they were separated during evacuation or rescue efforts?

First and foremost, contact the animal control agency in the area you last saw your pet. There are several websites that also have information on animals rescued during the hurricanes. You can find an updated list of these sites at Find My Lost Pet. We encourage owners to try different search terms, as animals are sometimes labeled by different breeds then what owners have on paperwork.

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I want to foster a displaced pet. Where can I go to sign up?

Please visit for more information on fostering. If you are able to help with equine, please visit the Horse Helpers Directory. We also encourage you to reach out to our Shelter and Rescue Partners near you to see if fosters are needed. The following shelters have taken in adoptable animals from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and/or the British Virgin Islands in response to hurricanes:

  • San Antonio ACS (TX)
  • Houston Humane Society (TX)
  • St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center (NJ)
  • Seattle Humane (WA)
  • Oklahoma Humane Society (OK)
  • Tulsa SPCA (OK)
  • Humane Society of Tulsa (OK)
  • Humane Society of Central Oregon (OR)
  • Homeward Trails (VA)
  • Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (VA)
  • Humane Rescue Alliance (DC)
  • Tri-County Animal Shelter (MD)
  • Anti-Cruelty Society (IL)
  • McKamey Animal Center (TN)
  • Nashville Humane Association (TN)
  • Humane Educational Society (TN)
  • HAWS of Waukesha (WI)
  • Northwoods Humane Society (WI)
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa (IA)
  • Wilson County DART (TN)
  • Harbor Humane Society (MI)
  • Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (NY)
  • Lakeshore Humane Society (WI)
  • Fox Valley Humane Association (WI)
  • Potter League for Animals (RI)
  • Southhampton Animal Shelter Foundation (NY)
  • Angels of Assisi (VA)
  • Van Buren County Animal Control (MI)

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My shelter can take animals. How can we help?

If you are located in an area impacted by recent storms, we encourage you to reach out to area shelters to let them know you can help. If you are interested in becoming a Shelter and Rescue Partner in the future.

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I heard that a particular city or area needs help. Can you help?

In order for an out-of-state organization to assist in a federal disaster area, there has to be an official request from the appropriate agency or emergency official. If a group or agency is in need of help, we ask that they contact their local emergency officials, who—if assistance is needed—will get the request to us. These protocols are in place to ensure there is not chaos created by outside groups coming in unrequested, and to ensure the assistance is sent to where it is needed most.

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I can travel to an area impacted by one of the disasters, how can I help?

Beyond trained responders who were contacted, it is imperative that no one goes to the area on their own or self-deploys. We won't be able to use volunteers who haven't gone through official training. If people who self-deploy come and get stranded, emergency response attention must then add them to the long list of rescues, and divert attention away from the existing priority rescue work. It is simply too dangerous, and also may result in lost/stray animals not going through the official systems that can ensure they are reunited with owners. If you are not a trained volunteer, but would like to become one, you can learn more about the requirements and fill out an application.

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What do I need to take when evacuating with my pet?

If you are evacuating or relocating with your pet, see our disaster preparedness kit list to make sure you have everything you need to keep them healthy and safe.

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What percentage of donations to the Emergency Animal Rescue Fund goes toward disaster relief?

Donations made to our Emergency Animal Rescue Fund are used for the Humane Society of the United States’ preparedness, rescue and relief efforts for these and future disasters. This includes paying for the care of animals, the cost of deploying resources to a location (such as staff, transport, etc.), increasing the infrastructure and capacity of our disaster response efforts through fundraising, education and awareness raising, the support of shelters and rescues taking animals from us, transporting animals from affected areas and, in some cases, long-term support of pets in the community going forward. Our priority is always to use donations in the most effective and efficient way possible so that we are always ready to help animals in times of disaster.

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