VANCOUVER, September 2, 2005 - Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families affected by Hurricane Katrina,” says Al Hickey, Western Regional Director of the Humane Society of Canada.“In the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in history, The Humane Society of Canada is also asking people to remember animals, often the forgotten victims in such troubled times.” The animal charity says that while there are hundreds of relief agencies working to help people, there are only a relatively small handful of groups working to help animals.
“Each one of these hard hit communities includes families who are missing their dogs, cats, birds, other pets and livestock. Orphaned and injured wildlife are also at risk,” says HSC Executive Director, Michael O’Sullivan, who has experience working in this part of the United States.The Humane Society of Canada is working in partnership with the American Humane Association to provide desperately needed funds to buy and deliver food, veterinary supplies and rescue equipment into the hard hit areas. If you wish to make a donation please click here. Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the oldest organization dedicated to protecting children and animals.
“Like people, animals require food, clean water and shelter. Some will die from injuries and disease without veterinary treatment and care. Others will begin competing with people for food resulting in conflicts between people and animals. We are talking about tens of thousands of dogs, cats, birds, livestock and wildlife who have been affected,” says O’Sullivan.
American Humane Association’s Animal Emergency Services rig is outfitted with specialized rescue gear including technical capture equipment, veterinary supplies, three rescue rafts and a water tanks with a 300 gallon capacity, and bunks for up to 12 rescue staff. With high tech communications capabilities, computers and satellite mapping technology, the rig can be used in the field as an operational command center and mobile veterinary hospital and temporary shelter for displaced pets.
“There are tremendous resources being marshalled to provide direct aid to help people, and rightly so. We want to help animals with our special area of expertise. Helping animals is not only the right thing to do; it makes it easier for human relief workers to do their job.
Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director, who has worked in disaster and war zones says that he has no illusions about the staggering challenges faced by people, animals and nature in overcoming the impact of this terrible disaster.
“What we accomplish will be measured by one animal at a time. Just a few short years ago, I was carrying out a rescue mission in the burning oil fields of the war zone that was Kuwait. Surrounded by death and destruction, I asked myself how much difference my efforts were really making. And as I looked down at the small girl holding a lamb in her arms, I realized just how much difference it made to both of them.
The animal charity is liaising with the American Humane Association and its contacts and groups in the affected areas to ensure that their animal relief efforts help the greatest number of animals in the most cost effective way possible.
The Humane Society of Canada has already committed $ 5,000 from its own Animal Disaster Relief Fund and is asking others to consider helping animals. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. To make a donation, please click here.
To learn more about how to protect your own animals before disaster strikes, we have prepared a Special Humane Society of Canada Emergency Response package which can be found here.
CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280
[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
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