Saturday, August 22, 2015

Animal responders train for next big storm on 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

In light of the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, disaster response experts who led animal rescue efforts following Katrina are returning to Louisiana to train emergency responders on how to rescue animals in future disasters.

The week-long boot camp is part of ongoing efforts to ready the nation for another Katrina-sized disaster, and will be will be taught by leading experts from across the country.

Attendees will learn various aspects of animal disaster response, including water rescue, fire rescue, pet first aid, large animal rescue, animal sheltering, and decontamination of animals exposed to flood waters, oil and other hazardous substances.

Disaster response experts instrumental in the response to Hurricane Katrina will be available to speak about the progress made in animal disaster response since Katrina and what pet owners can do to ensure their pets are safe from the next storm.

Boot camp instructors include experts from the American Humane Association, ASPCA, Code 3 Associates, Inc., International Fund for Animal Welfare, Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, RedRover, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Alliance of State Animal & Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP).

Hurricane Katrina was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history for both pets and people. 44% of the people who refused to evacuate during Katrina did so because they could not evacuate with their animals.

Approximately 250,000 dogs and cats were displaced or died as a result of Hurricane Katrina, including an untold number of other animals such as fish, small mammals and horses. Many officials refused to let animals—even service dogs—on evacuation buses or airlifts, forcing families to leave their animals behind.

As a result, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act of 2006 was enacted. This legislation amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

The amendments specified in the PETS Act are intended to ensure that state and local emergency preparedness operational planning addresses the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.

A national ASPCA poll revealed that many pet owners still aren’t ready for the next big storm. More than one-third of cat and dog owners don’t have a disaster preparedness plan in place for their pets. Visit for more information on Emergency Pet Preparedness.

American Humane Association also provides Hurricane Tips to help protect you, your family and your pets before, during and after a storm.

Sources: and

1 comment:

  1. I have never forgotten the deep anguish and utter distress of the people leaving animals behind in Katrina. Never ever will I forget it. What a tragedy so many had to die to see pet safety enshrined in the legislation of the US - but at least it is there now.