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PETA Prepares for Hurricane Irene

Written by PETA | August 26, 2011

Distressed dog 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 night.

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.

PETA found this dog after a tornado in North Carolina

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 the storm.

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.

Hurricane Isabel left rushing rivers where there was once a road and a park at PETA HQ!


Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk

Commenting is closed.
  • Simon Bloom says:

    Good work peta!

  • eloise lanum says:

    PETA will always need a HQ near Washington D.C. You need to hound those Senators & Congressmen up front & often to get them to pass humane laws. Constant pressure!

  • mow says:

    Thanks for all the good work you do. I wish that all people thought the same and cared about their animals when leaving their pets behind. They must be so frightened on their own and probably perish.

  • ljs738 says:

    Why not move to Grand Rapids, MI? Like Dearborn…we don’t have hurricanes, NO floods, NO black out, No high winds…and we’re close to Lake Michigan! It would be great to have Peta HQ here

  • dani says:

    you guys should put a headquarters in minnesota!

  • jane says:

    Will pray for you all — I volunteered after Katrina,and people just do not GET IT! So many animals were lost then, through the stupidity of humans, but other people tried SO HARD to keep their pets, but could not take them….keep it going,PETA; you are needed always.

  • jane says:

    Will pray for you all — I volunteered after Katrina,and people just do not GET IT! So many animals were lost then, through the stupidity of humans, but other people tried SO HARD to keep their pets, but could not take them….keep it going,PETA; you are needed always.

  • terrrx says:

    We are all praying for the unfortunate animals left behind. Please keep us post as to what those that live in the mountains of NC can do to help the animals at the coast.

  • hailley says:

    I’m happy that PETA is doing good. But to me all i could think when i read this was that they are saving the cats but what about the dogs… I feel like they are just as important. I mean with floods most will not survive. But I do think that PETA is doing good except for that… I will be sure to do what i can for everyone in the hurricane though

  • Dannie says:

    I agree with Mula. PETA headquarters should be moved to a less vulnearable area. Maybe northern Midwest? Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana….

  • Cindy says:

    I thank Goddess every day that you guys are there to help animals all over the world. Thank you. I am unemployed but will make a gift right now.

  • Jennifer Capriccio says:

    Authorities should not be allowed to force people to leave their animal companions behind in the event of an emergency. Would anyone leave their child behind? I don’t think so. I beg and encourage PETA to launch a campaign to asking authorities to amend any laws that prohibit people from taking their companions with them. People have with to SAVE all family members in the event of an emergency of any kind and that includes Animal Companions.

  • Valerie says:

    Hope all are okay. What will happen to the animals that people are giving up to you or relinguishing ownership of. When we read of the cruel dumb idiots who just don’t care about their pets, lets remember the devoted man who, during Katrina, refused to leave his home without his dog – and was later believed to have drowned.

  • joy hirsch says:

    im so glad i support. you. and it brings pleasure to know you are here to help. sure wil help in any way i can.

  • Marcia says:

    Glad PETA is helping, as usual. I have been thinking and worrying about the pigs and all animals stuck on chains and in cages. This is truly awful, and I can’t people people can just leave them behind to their fate.

  • 4mula1 says:

    you said this is peta hq. YOU GOTTA MOVE… try dearborn (mi) the seasons are good weather. NO floods, NO black outs, rain ends in minuets, NO high winds, i would LOVE to go x-country skiing but cant because the season is so short, im lucky if i get 1 week. IF THAT.. the heat is hardly ever in the 90s.. YOU MUST MOVE… a.s.a.p. look at the big picture.. you done your best, they dont care about animal cruelty, hunting, ect.. they may as well call it there only hobby. HOPE to see you in dearborn (MI).