Oh Dog! I’m back with Emily Schneider, Senior Manager for Media and Communications with the ASPCA. Yesterday we talked about how the ASPCA gets involved in helping during a natural disaster. Today we’ll get more in-depth with what that involves. But first, here’s a video of an actual Staten Island rescue!
Rumpy: Emily, yesterday we talked about the weeks of planning that went into preparing for a natural disaster response like you launched for Hurricane Sandy. Let’s talk about what it takes to get people actually out there responding to help animals in need.
Emily: The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has an incredible team of staff and volunteers who are available to deploy at a moment’s notice. The team also had a extensive network of response partners—other animal welfare groups and agencies—who have sent their responders to assist us in large-scale disaster responses. There are too many groups to list them all here, but just to give an example, the ASPCA was able to help more than 1,300 animals displaced by the Joplin tornado last year with the assistance of 89 agencies from across the country who sent responders on the ground.
Rumpy: That’s a lot of animals helped! Now tell us what happens with the animals when you rescue them?
Emily: In disaster response operations, we focus our efforts in reuniting lost pets with their families, or offering temporary sheltering so pet owners can focus on getting back on their feet without having to stress about caring for their pets. It’s hard to provide a percentage as every response operation is different. For animals that are not reclaimed by their owners, the ASPCA helps to find placement for the animals.
Rumpy: And who pays for all of that?
Emily: More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and rely strictly on donations. The ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services.
Rumpy: It’s sure comforting to know that there are so many people out there that are dedicated to making sure us animals are taken care of. Why does the ASPCA do all this?
Emily: Founded in 1866, the ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. Our mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.
Rumpy: Emily, I am simply amazed at all the hard work that goes into keeping us safe. Thank you so much for being my guest, and thanks to all the hard-working men and women of the ASPCA and their partners who help us in times of crisis.
Folks, the ASPCA has responded after other disasters as well. You can find more information about those responses here. For more information about how you can be prepared in the event of a natural disaster, check out this informative checklist. There is still much to be done to help animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you’d like to help, here’s some info on how you can.
All photos and video was shot by ASPCA staff and is used here by permission.