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 do.
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.