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ASPCA Provides Emergency Transport for Shelter Animals in Gulfport, Miss.

Aug 28, 2012 11:58 America/Los Angeles

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In anticipation of Hurricane Isaac, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting the Humane Society of South Mississippi in pre-evacuation efforts by transporting animals from Gulfport, Miss., to the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The ASPCA’s custom-built, 40-foot-long animal transport trailer is en route to Fort Lauderdale and is scheduled to arrive at the Humane Society of Broward County this afternoon.

“Having been through Hurricane Katrina and responding to numerous disasters, we learned that by assisting agencies with pre-evacuation efforts and getting animals out of harm’s way, we could greatly reduce the number of animals impacted by the hurricane,” said Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) team. “The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and be part of a collaborative effort to relocate these dogs and give them a second chance. We worked quickly to get these shelter animals out of Gulfport and transport them safely to the Humane Society of Broward County where they will eventually be made available for adoption.”

The animals, mostly large mixed breed dogs, will be placed up for adoption as early as Thursday by the Humane Society of Broward County once the animals are evaluated and given time to settle in.
“As we approach the exact anniversary of Katrina’s landfall just seven years later, we have learned many lessons,” said Tara High, executive director of the Humane Society of South Mississippi. “One of the lessons was to have a plan—and have partnering shelters and organizations on our side, ready to help if ever we need it. We know that our planning and our partnerships mean less lives are lost and happier endings for displaced shelter animals.”

“We are fortunate that we have the space available to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and hope their shelter is not damaged in the upcoming storm,” said Jo-Anne Roman, senior vice president of Operations at the Humane Society of Broward County.

According to weather reports, Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on the Gulf Coast and is expected to make landfall in New Orleans today. Dr. Green and the FIR team are monitoring the situation closely and have organized sheltering and water-rescue teams to support the local agencies if needed. Additionally, the ASPCA is providing emergency grants to those communities impacted by the hurricane, offering assistance to agencies such as the Louisiana State Animal Response Team to increase its water rescue capacity.
Dr. Green added, “We are monitoring the projected path of Hurricane Isaac, and we stand ready to assist in animal rescue and relief efforts as soon as we’re needed.”

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About the Humane Society of South Mississippi
Founded in 1952, Mississippi the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Gulfport, Mississippi and cares for nearly 12,000 homeless animals each year. HSSM provides adoptions, return-to-owner services, and high quality, low cost spay/neuter services to the public as well as serving as Harrison County’s sole animal sheltering facility. HSSM is an open admission shelter with Animal Control contracts and depends on the support of community members to provide its high level of services. HSSM’s mission is to advocate the bond between animals and humans, provide the highest quality services and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, reduce companion animals overpopulation, and increase the save-rate of animals in our community.

About the Humane Society of Broward County
The Humane Society of Broward County is a private, non-profit organization that is not affiliated with any local or national organization with a similar name. The HSBC is supported by donations from people and companies that want to help us help the homeless animals. If you would like to help, visit our website at www.humanebroward.com . Here you will find directions, photos of the animals available for adoption and information on how to make a donation. Or visit us at 2070 Griffin Road, just west of I-95 in Fort Lauderdale. Adoptions open daily at 10:00 a.m.

SOURCE ASPCA
CONTACT: Emily Schneider, ASPCA, +1-212-876-7700 ext. 4575, emily.schneider@aspca.org, Krystyna Szcechowski, Humane Society of South Mississippi, +1-228-363-2447 or +1-228-467-2429, krystyna@hssm.org, Cherie Wachter, Humane Society of Broward County, +1-954-266-6831 or +1-305-772-6468 (cell), CWachter@hsbroward.com
Web Site: http://www.aspca.org

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