… Over $3.5 Million in Donations for Animal Rescue and Relief ….
More Than 130 Animals Rescued Last Night by Humane Society of The United States Teams In Gulfport, Mississippi
09.03.05, 1:08 PM ET
Gaithersburg, MD Call Center Is Tracking Reports of Lost Pets; More Than $3.5 Million in Donations for Animal Rescue/Relief Has Poured In
JACKSON, Miss., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ — Late last night, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) rescuers, working with The Humane Society of South Mississippi, picked up 42 cats and 89 dogs in Gulfport, Mississippi and drove them to a staging area in Jackson, Miss. There they are providing triage medical care and temporary shelter for the animals before arranging to transfer them to animal shelters around the country.
“We were finally allowed to enter hurricane-ravaged Gulfport last night,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO, “where one of our rapid response strike teams was able to rescue a large group of animals. Another highly- trained HSUS animal disaster team is based in Louisiana, and is poised to enter New Orleans as soon as access is allowed. We believe it is imperative that we get into that devastated region as soon as possible to increase the chances that we can evacuate the thousands of animals who remain in dire circumstances.”
The HSUS been inundated with thousands of calls with requests to rescue pets who were left behind or perhaps denied entrance to the Superdome or other shelters. Individuals who learn of stranded pets are urged to call the HSUS phone bank at 1-800-HUMANE-1, provided they have location information that can be relayed to the teams in the field. Thousands of concerned citizens have also donated to the relief effort by visiting www.hsus.org.
“The outpouring of concern from people around the country has been overwhelming,” said Pacelle. “They recognize that animals are suffering, too. Rescuing abandoned pets can offer some peace of mind to the people whose lives have been shattered by this disaster, and The Humane Society of the United States is determined to do everything we can to help.”
The HSUS mobilized rapidly in response to last week’s hurricane, issuing disaster preparedness information and activating its Disaster Animal Response Teams (DART) across the country. Trained disaster specialists based at the organization’s operations center in Gaithersburg, Md. headed to Florida early this week with equipment and supplies. HSUS is also poised to deploy hundreds of other individuals who have been through its disaster training programs. Days End Horse Rescue, which is based in Lisbon, Md., has also sent personnel and equipment to respond to the needs of horses.
Teams from animal shelters and HSUS offices across the country have been streaming into Mississippi and Louisiana rescuing animals and providing shelter for homeless pets. More than 50 staff members and volunteers are supporting the field team effort from the Gaithersburg, Md. headquarters, answering phones and responding to emails from 8:00 am-7:00 pm each day, taking in reports of missing and injured pets.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization representing more than 9 million members and constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country.
SOURCE The Humane Society of the United States -0- 09/03/2005 /CONTACT: Rachel Querry, +1-301-258-8255, firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Bluttman, +1-240-453-9892, email@example.com, both of The Humane Society of the United States/ /Web site: http://www.hsus.org / CO: The Humane Society of the United States ST: District of Columbia, Mississippi IN: SU: NPT PA — NYSA017 — 4475 09/03/2005 13:07 EDT
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