Written by Jeff Mackey
Staffers from its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters and Washington,
D.C., office have endured the impact of Hurricane Sandy's winds and storm
surge, but that's not stopping PETA from doing everything in its power to help
the animals in the storm's path. Community Animal Project fieldworkers are on call
24/7 and have already been hard at work helping animals left to fend for
themselves against the storm and the flooding.
Of course, the best way to protect animals is to prevent them
from being put in harm's way in the first place. That's why PETA sent out
emergency-preparedness alerts to media across Virginia, North Carolina, New
Jersey, and other at-risk areas before
the storm to remind guardians to be ready to allow animal companions to stay indoors
and to take them along if forced to evacuate.
Unfortunately, not everyone has heeded this advice, and
frightened, vulnerable animals like the dog you see here in Newport News,
Virginia, have been left tied up outside to face the storm's onslaught. So PETA
has sent urgent requests to the governors of all states likely to be affected
by Sandy asking them to protect all their citizens—including the
four-legged ones—by issuing immediate "no chaining" orders for their
The orders should require that all dogs be allowed to stay
indoors and not be left chained
outside, where they may drown, freeze, be strangled, or get hit by flying debris in the
midst of the hurricane, as happened to Smokey, who died alone
outside during Hurricane Irene on the chain that he had been attached to since
No matter what the governors decide, though, if Sandy is
headed your way, please allow your dogs and cats to stay indoors with you, be
prepared to take them with you if you have to leave, and urge your neighbors to
do the same!
Written by Michelle Kretzer
By now, we hope everyone is prepared as Hurricane Sandy batters the
eastern United States and Canada with gale-force winds, massive walls of water, and, in some spots, snow. While we wish
that everyone who evacuated
would have taken their animals with them and that those who are staying will have allowed their animals indoors to ride
out the storm in safety, we know that not everyone understands that domesticated
animals cannot survive "on instinct" and that they stand little chance
if left outside. Especially during natural disasters, animal advocates must be
vigilant about helping chained
dogs, "outdoor cats,"
and rabbits left outside in hutches.
If you know of animals kept on chains or
in hutches or pens, please look out for them! You may be their only hope.
People do not always do what's needed, and animals die miserably during these
weather emergencies. If necessary, beg guardians to allow their animals indoors
until the storm is over. If the guardian refuses, be persuasive and ask to take
the animals to your home and then return them when it's safe. If all else
fails, note the animals' condition and location and call animal control, the police,
or other local authorities and implore them to use their power to rescue the
animals. If people have left and you must take emergency action to save an
animal in rising waters or another situation, then you must do what you need to
PETA's vans at our Norfolk, Virginia,
headquarters and Washington, D.C., offices are stocked with food, medicine, and
other supplies, and we will be diligently combing the surrounding areas searching for any animals in
need. In times of disaster, we rely on our generous Animal Emergency Fund donors to make these rescues possible. If you are able, please consider supporting
our Hurricane Sandy rescue efforts.
of us would never consider leaving our four-legged family members behind in an
emergency, and it seems that people a century ago had similar sentiments. On
the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, we are finally hearing
about the dogs onboard—and the guardians who refused to leave them.
University in Pennsylvania is hosting a centennial Titanic exhibit, part of
which focuses on the twelve dogs who were onboard the ship. The three who
survived were small dogs whose guardians smuggled them onto lifeboats, likely
without the other passengers noticing. Passenger Margaret Hays reportedly got
her dog, Lady, onto the lifeboat by wrapping her in a blanket.
least one of the Titanic's passengers jumped out of a lifeboat when she was
told her dog couldn't accompany her. Ann Elizabeth Isham refused to leave her
Great Dane behind, and days later, a recovery ship found the body of a woman
still clinging to a large dog, which all accounts identify as Isham and her
beloved Great Dane.
recently, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, PETA rescuers saw
stories similar to Isham's repeated again and again. But these distraught guardians
were forced to evacuate and leave
their animals behind. Many animals didn't make it, although some were rescued and returned to their
families after months of searching by PETA and other animal organizations.
The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina forced the issue of
animals suffering during disasters into the national spotlight and resulted in
the Pets Evacuation and
Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local disaster plans to include provisions for safely accommodating
animal companions in the event of a major disaster or emergency.
We've seen the benefits of the nation's heightened
awareness of the need for disaster planning for animals in the wake of the
recent Navy jet crash in
Virginia Beach, Virginia, which destroyed or damaged 40 apartments. Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center immediately
spread word to rescue workers that it would take in all displaced animals, and
families knew that their animal companions had a safe place to go while they
Many more families are now doing their own advance planning to protect
animals in emergencies, including taking the following steps:
planning can't prevent natural disasters, but it can prevent disasters from
becoming tragedies for our animal companions.
Greg Cook and his dog, Coco, became Internet sensations when the
pictures of their emotional reunion following this month's Category 5 tornado
spread like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter. Greg wasn't home when the
twister hit in Limestone County, Alabama, and as he made his way through his neighborhood,
which the storm had destroyed, he feared he would never see Coco again. When
Greg spotted his leveled home among the wreckage, the chances that Coco had
survived looked even bleaker.
crawled through a window of what used to be his home and was wading through the
piles of debris when he spotted Coco—soaking wet, shaking, and terrified but
alive. Greg's emotion at that moment is evident as he tells his story in a
video that he shot for PETA to urge guardians to make sure that their animals
will be protected in case of a disaster.
and Coco were fortunate—but many other animals and their guardians have not
escaped disasters unscathed. Greg encourages all animal guardians to prepare for natural disasters in advance. Here are some
Written by PETA
As search-and-rescue teams are combing through the wreckage left in six Southern states by the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in 40 years, PETA is asking rescuers to look out for animal victims too.
In an e-mail sent to rescue team organizers, PETA asked that emergency workers make a quick call to a local animal rescue group if they see animals who are injured, trapped, lost, or abandoned and provide the group with the animals' location. This will allow the local agencies to rescue the animals and reunite them with their loved ones.
The bond between people and their companion animals is very strong, and victims of disasters benefit from knowing that their companion animals are safe.
The time to prepare for keeping yourself and your animals safe in a disaster is now. And to help animal disaster victims, please consider a donation to PETA's Animal Emergency Fund.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.