TORONTO – December 23, 2005 – Christmas is coming early for the animals affected by the evacuation of the owners from the Kashechewan Reserve in Northern Ontario. Tainted water supplies meant that many residents were forced to leave their animals behind to fend for themselves in this remote northern outpost.
“By working alongside many dedicated groups and individuals, The Humane Society of Canada is providing desperately needed funds to buy and deliver food, veterinary supplies, bedding, leashes, collars, bowls and shelters into this hard hit area,” according to Michael O’Sullivan, the animal charity’s executive director. Click here for photos of the ongoing rescue operation.
O’Sullivan had high praise for Pam Armstrong, a local teacher who played a lead role in making sure that in this time of disaster, that animals did not become the forgotten victims. He also said that the animals owed a debt of gratitude to Ann Babey who worked long and hard to make sure of the supplies were airlifted into the reserve and to Ann Nolan for her work in raising funds for the relief effort. “The true measure of a person is where he or she stands in moments of crisis. Pam and her friends have come through for the animals,” he said
The Humane Society of Canada also wrote to the Kashechewan First Nation Council to warn them that someone had been spreading rumours that their community was still engaging in “dog shooting days” which still takes place in some remote communities as a method of animal control.
Earlier this year, The Humane Society of Canada assisted their American counterparts in providing disaster relief and rescue assistance for the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. O’Sullivan has just returned from New Orleans for a first hand aftermath assessment of the relief efforts and the ongoing rescue and recovery operations.
“Animals are our friends, our companions and our protectors. In times of disaster, we need to be able to spring into action at a moment’s notice, and we can only do this because of the kindness and generosity of people who are willing to reach out and help an animal they will never meet,” said O’Sullivan.
If you would like to make a donation to help animals affected by natural or manmade disasters, please click here.
The Humane Society of Canada has developed a comprehensive plan called Protecting Your Family Pets Against A Terrorist Attack - and most of the same information can also be used to plan ahead for disasters. A copy of the plan can be found here.
CONTACT: Al Hickey or Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com.
[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 the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has 6 grandchildren.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 95 countries during the last 35 years helping people, animals and nature.]