Written by PETA
in a flooded pen.
Mine was one of the few cars early this morning headed into Hampton Roads, where PETA's headquarters
are located. The roads are at a standstill in much of Norfolk and Virginia
Beach as tourists and many residents, especially those with homes on the water,
head inland and north, many under mandatory evacuation notices issued late last
We are grateful to Virginia's Gov. McDonnell for
encouraging people to have a plan for their animal companions and to local news
agencies that have broadcast PETA's plea to include animals in disaster
preparations. We are grateful to the liquor and convenience store owners
who have hung our
posters on their doors, encouraging people to
make plans for their animals. While some may heed the call, we know from
experience that not everyone will listen. PETA staff has been working the
phones for three days now, making calls to residents in North Carolina and
lower Virginia, asking them to please, for the first time in their lives, take
their chained dogs inside and, if they evacuate, to take the animals with them.
Many are listening to our warnings, but for many impoverished residents who
have little ability to care for themselves and who do not own a car, no
provisions will be made for "backyard" or "hunting" dogs
and "the cats who live under the trailer." Rabbits in hutches, pigs,
and goats will be left to fend for themselves through high winds, heavy rain,
lightning, and who knows what else. The owner of one dog asked us for "a
heavier chain" to tie the dog down because his other dog had been swept
off her feet during Hurricane Isabel. Some people are giving their animals up
to us, which is far better than leaving them to drown, be hit by flying debris
or trees (there will be lots of those―pity the squirrels and their babies, who
cannot flee), or suffer other ugly fates.
Our building is in a flood plain, and the streets surrounding
it will be rivers by Saturday night, exacerbated by an already predicted high
tide coupled with the storm surge. We have waders and canoes at the ready.
We know that our dear outdoor cats, the ones who refuse to be coaxed into traps,
will be in trouble but will do their best to hunker down and go without
food, as there will be nowhere to put it for them. Our cats at PETA headquarters
are being evacuated today to our international intern house, all our vans have
been moved to high ground and are stocked with food and water to deliver to animals
in crisis after the storm passes, our sandbags are in place, we have generators,
and our computer systems are operating out of a remote location, so we are
ready and will continue to campaign and advocate for animals through and after
the storm. Extra staff is on call, and we are as prepared as we can be for what
Mother Nature is about to deliver.
We wish we could help the thousands of pigs in the huge factory
farms down river from us: They are very vulnerable.
We hope you will hold all of the animals in Irene's path in
your hearts and thoughts, and we appreciate your support as we prepare to weather
Much of our lifesaving work for animals in crisis—from preparing for
hurricanes like Irene to helping the animal survivors of devastating
earthquakes in Japan and Haiti —is supported by the
generosity of PETA's Animal Emergency Fund donors. You can help us respond to
disaster—both before and after it strikes—by making an urgent gift right now.
left rushing rivers where there was once a road and a
park at PETA HQ!
by Ingrid E. Newkirk
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.