Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Athena Adds Insult to Injury

As if there hasn’t been enough devastation and heartache in the east, a winter storm is moving in to areas already hit by Sandy. That old saying “You’re given only as much as you can handle” is bunk.

I know there are probably more people in need right now than there is help for them. Even so, I’m going to make a plug for the voiceless at risk: the animals.

A number of animal welfare organizations have been on the ground rescuing pets and wild animals from the debris. As residents continue getting evacuated, many face the wrenching inevitability of parting with their animal companions—dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, horses. Some of the rescue organizations are taking in these cherished pets—offering housing, food, and care—for however long it takes for the families to return to a normal living environment (see video below).

Let’s do what we can to help these fine organizations help the animals and their people. Here are a few of the groups that have mobile teams in the area. The links provided take you to a secure donation page.

Make a donation.
Also, read about Hazel and her new friends.

Best Friends Animal Society
Make a donation.
Read how Best Friends is helping local shelters.

The Humane Society of the United States
Make a donation.
As is typical in these rescue efforts, natural disasters reveal animals who have been living for some time in neglectful or abusive situations, and those left to brave severe weather in the backyard. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) followed up on a tip about a house from which an elderly couple had been removed and taken to a hospital and where it was believed their animals remained. HSUS found a scared, malnourished elderly dog short-tied to a fence outside. And inside? Cats living in filth and disorder—the same filth and disorder the elderly couple had presumably contended with prior to Sandy’s arrival. Without the weather emergency, I wonder how long it would have taken for these folks and their animals to get help.

DIY Rescue and Foster
If you’re in the area, check out the Hurricane Sandy Lost & Found Pets page on Facebook set up to reunite pets with their people. Look for the pets posted. They’re probably scared and hiding, or scared and difficult to approach. Some local shelters are asking for folks to foster animals in need until the owners’ living situations have stabilized.

[AP photo by Craig Ruttle.]

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