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Animals Are Flood Victims Too

By Heather Buchman, AccuWeather

Meet Janey, a rambunctious, yet sweet, young pit bull mix who was rescued from the flood waters that engulfed Bloomsburg, Pa., last week. Her family’s home was a total loss.

While her owners were unable to find a temporary housing situation that would allow pets, they had the opportunity to take Janey to a temporary animal shelter set up by Pennsylvania’s Columbia/Montour County Animal Response Team (CART).

Janey was one of more than 30 dogs that were brought to the shelter. Eight cats were also taken in.

A week after the flooding, most of the owners have been able to reunite with their pets. However, for families like Janey’s, who are staying in temporary housing where their pets cannot be accommodated, their animals are now in foster care with volunteers from CART.

The reason Janey had a shelter and now a foster family to take care of her in the midst of disaster stems from lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina.

“Across the nation, different states have set up State Animal Response Teams,” explained Erin Ackerman, a member of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. “After Hurricane Katrina… statistics showed people wouldn’t evacuate because they couldn’t take their pets with them.”

The Humane Society has animal rescue and response teams as well.

The hope is that with these response teams now in place, people will be less reluctant to evacuate, knowing there is a safe place to bring their pets.

The Humane Society offers disaster planning tips for pet owners.

Temporary animal shelters will typically take in animals for 72 hours from the beginning of a crisis. If they are able, some stay open longer. CART’s shelter remained open for eight days, and some volunteers have extended their efforts to fostering pets that could not reunite with their owners.

Many of the CART volunteers were also affected by flooding and had to juggle helping out at the shelter and taking care of flood cleanup.

“This devastation was so widespread that even our members have been affected,” Ackerman said. “Almost everyone of us has been affected in some way.”

Janey will remain in foster care until her owners are able to take her home.


Video by AccuWeather.com Producer Grace Muller

Related:
Disaster Preparation for Pets
Are Your Animals Prepared for Disaster?
5 Ways to Calm Your Dog in a Thunderstorm

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AccuWeather

AccuWeather, established in 1962, is the World's Weather Authority. We provide local forecasts for everywhere in the United States and over two million locations worldwide.

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56 comments

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8:50AM PST on Feb 6, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

9:31AM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

I think the story title says it all. Animals depend on humans for their safety and well-being. We owe it to them to take care of them. And I agree 1000% with Justin R, animals are often neglected by the media especially during such events. We need to make their plights important too.

Thank you for this very important article.

1:22AM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:38AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

noted

10:37AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

noted

8:58PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

People would have to rescue me too because I wouldn't leave my babies behind!!!!

4:00AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

I would never abandon my baby Bruno in a flood!

8:58PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

That is great, especially for Janey. So many people wouldn't take in a Pit Bull. She is lucky. She has a family that loves and cares about her, and people who are helping, until she can go home, who are just as caring. This is a win win situation and if we have learned anything from Katrina, it is that the animals need protection as much as the humans.

11:09AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Thanks for this post. It's very important information. Blessings to all people who rescue, foster and help animals.

4:30AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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