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IFAW rushes animal rescue and sheltering teams to Gulf Coast following Hurricane Isaac

YARMOUTH PORT, Mass., Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Rescuers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) have mobilized teams to Alexandria, Louisiana and Waveland, Mississippi to assist in animal rescue and sheltering efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac that made landfall Tuesday evening in Plaquemines Parish, LA as a category 1 storm.

In Louisiana, IFAW is responding to a request for help from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to manage an animal shelter currently housing close to 200 companion animals, with more residents and their pets entering as water now starts to enter their homes.

“IFAW is sending a shelter manager and sheltering team as requested by the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC),” said Shannon Walajyts, IFAW’s Manager of Disaster Response.  “I know we will be able to help so many animals and the people who trust them to our care during this tragic time in their lives.”

Across state lines, residents in Waveland, Mississippi are also reeling from incessant rains brought on by the storm which locals now claim has surpassed Katrina’s fury.

When the floodwaters began to rise, the Hancock County Animal Shelter scrambled to move 35 dogs and 25 cats from their shelter to a temporary facility which is now running on generator power and a makeshift water source from a street-side fire hydrant.

IFAW’s team is arriving in Waveland today to help the understaffed shelter care for the 60 animals and respond to the mounting number of calls regarding other stranded animals in need.

IFAW’s 36-foot animal rescue trailer, funded by Petfinder.com Foundation is mobilizing tomorrow. The cargo includes shelter crates for 30 animals, capture equipment, water rescue gear and pet food.

IFAW works with local communities, governments, and animal rescue groups during and after disasters.  Earlier this year, IFAW held an ‘Advanced Animal Responder Boot Camp’ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, providing training for veterinarians, animal responders, animal control officers and volunteers in animal search and rescue techniques as well as land navigation and slack water rescue exercises.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos will be available for media use at www.ifawimages.com

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare

CONTACT: Michael Booth, IFAW +1-508-648-3699; mbooth@ifaw.org; or Cynthia Carson, IFAW +1-202-210-3094; ccarson@ifaw.org

Web Site: http://www.ifaw.org

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