Tuesday, September 20, 2005

American Humane Association Coordinates Airlift Operations for Animals

American Humane Association Coordinates Airlift Operations for Animals
Articles / dBNews Denver
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 04:30:45

DENVER -- Hurricane's Smallest Victims Finding Refuge in Communities Across the Country

The American Humane Association, whose Animal Emergency Services volunteers have been on the scene since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, announced that more airlifts are planned for the animals being cared for at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center's temporary shelter.

"We are coordinating the transfer of more animals from the shelter at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center, and applaud the efforts of major airlines, private corporations, and community animal sheltering organizations like the Arizona Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League of West Palm Beach, Florida," stated Marie Belew Wheatley, CEO and president of the American Humane Association. "American Humane's Animal Emergency Services team leader Dick Green is now serving as an operations chief at the shelter, and is behind the scenes coordinating the airlift of hundreds of animals. Two hundred animals left Baton Rouge by air yesterday bound for new temporary homes with the Arizona Humane Society, another 100 cats left by ground transport, and 75-150 animals are planned for transfer to the Animal Rescue League of West Palm Beach on Tuesday."

"Animal welfare organizations like Arizona Humane are opening their doors and ultimately their pocket books to care for these small victims of Hurricane Katrina," continued Wheatley. "We've established a Second Chance grant fund to bolster the existing resources of these local heroes because we know that in many cases the animals are in need medical care, and that existing foster programs may need to be expanded. The ultimate goal is to reunite the animals with their families but in the meantime they need food, clean water, and shelter from the dangerous conditions that still exist in devastated areas."

"The effort to move animals out of the temporary shelters is a critical component of our ability to care for more animals still coming in from New Orleans and other surrounding areas," said Dick Green, American Humane Association team leader and operations chief at Lamar Dixon. "It's amazing to see the cooperation of so many agencies as we work together to save as many animals as possible. American Humane Association's teams are being joined by National Guard troops and veterinarians from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service as we look for pets still stranded and waiting for rescue."

The American Humane Association has been on the front lines of disaster rescue and relief since World War I. The nearly 130-year-old organization has a corps of technically trained Animal Emergency Services volunteers with specialized equipment including inflatable boats, dry suits, catch poles, a large animal sling and collapsible crates available for disasters.

The 82- foot semi-trailer is just one of five emergency vehicles that can be deployed into the most devastated areas and includes a medical suite for veterinary care, supplies, food, and sleeping accommodations for rescuers. American Humane Association volunteer rescuers were on hand following 9/11, wildfires in Colorado and California, and in response to hurricanes that hit the east and gulf coasts each year.

Ongoing coverage of the American Humane Association relief efforts, along with the latest images from our response to Hurricane Katrina can be found at www.americanhumane.org/disaster.

About the American Humane Association
The American Humane Association is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals, and has been responding to disasters since World War I.

The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link(R) between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human and animal bond. American Humane Association's regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the "No Animals Were Harmed"(R) End Credit Disclaimer on TV and film productions, and American Humane Association's office in Washington, DC, is an advocate for child- and animal-friendly legislation at the state and federal levels. Visit www.americanhumane.org to learn more.

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