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Monday, September 05, 2005

Humane Society has Rescued More than 300 Pets so Far

New Orleans - The Humane Society said that over 300 pets have been rescued by 140 volunteers in Louisiana and Mississippi working as part of the organization's Disaster Animal Response Teams (DART). The US Humane Society also said that over $5 million in donations have poured in making the massive rescue effort possible.

The Humane Society said it has moved its Mississippi command center from Jackson to Hattiesburg in order to respond more quickly to the crisis in the southern part of the state, and yesterday, in cooperation with the Louisiana SPCA, was finally granted access to help stranded pets in New Orleans.

"We were finally allowed to enter hurricane-ravaged New Orleans yesterday," said Wayne Pacelle, US Humane Society president and CEO, "where our rapid response strike teams are responding to rescue requests for stranded pets. Our national call center is tracking thousands of calls and emails from people who need us to rescue their pets, and it's a race against the clock. For some animals it may be too late, but for others it will be just in time."

As rescue crews continue to pluck people from rooftops, The Humane Society is compiling thousands of reports of pets in need of rescue, and working with the Louisiana SPCA to deploy trained, skilled animal rescuers to locate, rescue, and evacuate those animals. Upon entering New Orleans, they targeted animals stranded at the Superdome as their priority goal. There, they rescued dozens of animals relinquished or abandoned by desperate evacuees who fled the city to escape Katrina's rage. So far, The Humane Society has helped to rescue more than 300 animals in Louisiana and Mississippi, including dogs, cats, ferrets, and a seal.

The Humane Society said it has 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 Humane Society call center at 1-800-HUMANE-1, provided they have location information that can be dispatched to the teams in the field.


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