American Humane rushes to Eastern Seaboard to provide emergency relief for animals affected by Hurricane Isabel

American Humane Association
Monday, 15 September 2003

American Humane, the nation's only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals from abuse, will arrive in North Carolina tomorrow with its Red Star Emergency Services to work with the North Carolina State Animal Response Team, if necessary, to provide emergency relief for communities and animals needing assistance.

Red Star determined Hurricane Isabel posed a serious enough threat to dispatch a dedicated team of National Responders and its Rescue Rig, a custom-built 80-foot rolling rig that offers state-of-the-art equipment for safe and efficient animal rescues.

"Red Star promises to do our part with onsite emergency care for animals in disaster, but we are also asking the community to do their part by helping us prepare before Isabel hits," says Joan Casey, American Humane's associate director of shelter services. "Plan immediately for your pets, so you are not forced to leave your animals behind. If it is unsafe for you to remain in your home, it is equally unsafe for your animals."

American Humane recommends pet guardians take the following precautions to avoid leaving a pet stranded and alone during a disaster:

  • Identify boarding facilities and hotels within a 100-mile radius of your home that accept pets.

  • Ask local animal shelters if they have evacuation plans for animals and if they can care for your specific type of pet during an emergency.

  • Provide your pet with a current ID tag. Include your pet's name and medical needs, as well as your phone number, out-of-state contact information, and current address. Because tags might become lost, consider microchipping your pet, as well.

  • Keep records of your pet's vaccinations.

  • Purchase a portable carrier large enough for your pet to stand and turn around in.

  • Create a pet emergency kit that includes a carrier for small pets, leashes, extra ID tags, water, food, medications, health records, an animal first-aid kit, and a current photo of your pet.

  • Plan for extra transportation if you have more animals than your vehicles can hold.

  • If you must leave your animal behind, do not tie it up or leave it in a cage so it cannot escape.

Red Star's Rescue Rig will serve as home base, providing the team with a mobile veterinary clinic for onsite treatment; a four-wheel-drive emergency ambulance; three water rescue crafts; and a high-tech communications center with fax machines, satellite communications, and computers for up-to-the-minute contact with other emergency agencies. The vehicle can house 12 rescue personnel and boasts portable corrals and kennels for care of livestock, horses, and companion animals.

Click here or call (866) 242-1877 to find out how you can help American Humane's Red Star Emergency Services save animal victims of disasters.

For information on how you can support the North Carolina State Animal Response team, visit or call (888) 989-SART.

About Red Star Emergency Services

American Humane's Red Star Emergency Services rescues animals in disasters and reunites them with their guardians. American Humane's National Responders work in all kinds of situations wildfires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, terrorist attacks to rescue animals that are left behind when their guardians are forced to evacuate. Last year alone, Red Star helped rescue thousands of animals from fires raging in Colorado and Arizona.

For more information, or to contact American Humane Association, see their website at:

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