Animal evacuation

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Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2005
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SW Idaho
I've had to ban myself from watching anything Katrina related for a day or two. I was watching Dateline last night, and they ended the show with some pictures of stranded, abandoned dogs and the background music was the song 'Helpless'. It upset me so much that I didn't sleep at all last night, I couldn't get that cocker spaniel's face out of my mind. There just HAS to be a better way. So I may have a new cause.

I understand that many people have accepted that human life must come before the pets. But there have been so many people helping the humans and, at least from what I can gather on the news, the animals have been left behind with only a few people able to actually get in there and rescue them. Many people stayed behind only because they couldn't take their pets.

Our culture has come to value our relationship with our pets much more than in decades past. They are a part of our lifestyle and family. Polls have shown as much. Think about it... people were willing to risk their lives because they could not bring themselves to abandon their beloved pets. I did the very same thing during Hurricane Hugo when I learned that my pets would not be allowed in the shelter with me, I stayed behind with them. has information on disaster preparedness for pets, and they say in bold letters "DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND". But what do you do with them if your only option is a designated shelter?

So I've been thinking, and I need some guidance and ideas...

I think that the American Red Cross and the American Humane Society should come together and somehow coordinate a way for people and their pets to evacuate together. Perhaps not be in the same shelter, but have coordinating shelters in close proximity to each other in times of crisis. The American Red Cross, and governments, would perhaps have less trouble convincing people to leave dangerous areas, and more pets would be given a shot at surviving. And people affected by these tragedies would have their pets close at hand for comfort. The pets could be brought to safety BEFORE the crisis arrived in some cases, like hurricanes. Injured or lost pets would have a triage area waiting for them afterward. The exact same idea as a Red Cross shelter, (food, water, first-aid) but for animals instead.

I believe that, if the AHS really campaigned, people would donate to them like they do to the Red Cross and they could build up funds to support this coordinated effort. Especially after the images of the pets on TV this week. People have a different view of their pets than they did 40 or 50 years ago. But it would take both entities working together, as the Red Cross has far more experience in relief work. The donations are coming in strong now for the animals, but for many, it will be to late. They've been swimming in that toxic soup for more than a week.

Is this a feasable idea? How would I go about doing what little I can to help make it happen (once this current crisis is on it's way to being resolved of course)? Does one just call up the Red Cross and say, "Hey, I have an idea?" Would it work better on a state level? I've thought of starting with the Idaho Red Cross and Idaho Humane Society. How does one get the word out to get public support behind them? I may not have much money, but I've been told that I have a big mouth and I'm very passionate about things that I truly believe in, and I truly believe something needs to change.

My initial thoughts on this are for small animals, more likely to be city pets concentrated in one area. Large animals would be an entirely different undertaking, and perhaps not as easy to coordinate, as they would not be concentrated in one area and have more expansive housing and transportation issues. But it could be done.


Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2002
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There is a lot of innacurate info out there...the shoot to kill order was found to be an urban legend hoax......I can tell you first hand there are literally thousands of people with hundreds of small private rescues/shelters lending a hand.....currently they are working very hard to evacuate both animals and people.......the media loves to glamorize the bad...hence the wandering dog with the sad eyes........

I belong to two rescue networks and many of our volunteers have offered housing transport whatever it takes to help these animals re unite with their owners or find homes........

We are amazingly an underground network so few people realize how many of us there are...just this weekend I not only placed the two foster pups in their new homes but I also was able to take a last minute aged (8) pug with me to another foster home thus saving her from being PTS.........I cannot help them all I know this but I figure if I can help a couple here and a couple there that is a few more animals who get to have a chance.......

I spent this weekend not watching and just spent time with family and feeling very blessed for what I have even if it isn't much

If you want to help in any way let me know I can send you to good people who might try to over run you
so you have to know what you can do and are willing to do up front........

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