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ASPCA Rescues Louisiana Animals as Flood Waters Rise

At the request of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has dispatched its disaster response team to conduct water rescue for animals displaced by severe flooding spanning East Baton Rouge and Lafayette Parish. At least six people have died in the disaster, and approximately 20,000 residents have been displaced.

The ASPCA is working with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) to coordinate local resources required to rescue the large number of animals displaced by the flash floods. Residents who need assistance with recovering a pet from their home or emergency sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). Residents can find contact information for their parish’s OHSEP office at http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.  

“If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind,” said Dr. Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “Many people consider pets as family members, and losing a pet on top of this already tragic situation can be horribly stressful. We want to give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they are called on by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

The ASPCA also has a disaster preparedness mobile app which advises pet owners on what to do before, during, and after a disaster. The app, which works even without internet connectivity, also provides personalized instructions on how to search for and recover lost animals in a variety of circumstances.

More information on the ASPCA’s disaster response efforts can be found at http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/field-investigations-and-response-team/natural-disasters.

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