For Immediate Release:
September 4, 2018
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
New Orleans – As Tropical Storm Gordon approaches and because voluntary evacuations have been ordered, animals could die if abandoned. A recent survey revealed that 91 percent of animal guardians are not prepared for a natural disaster.
Animals should never be left tied up or confined to crates, pens, or hutches, as they will be trapped and unable to flee rising waters. (Please click on the hyperlinks to see photos of dogs who were left outside during past storms.)
Anyone who evacuates and intentionally abandons animals to drown or starve may be prosecuted. During Hurricane Irma, more than 50 cats and dogs were rescued by animal control officers in Palm Beach County, Florida, and authorities announced that they will pursue felony cruelty-to-animals charges against people found to have left their animals behind in that state.
PETA rescue teams have witnessed firsthand the trauma that animals endure when left behind to face the floodwaters and flying debris from hurricanes, from Katrina to Harvey, during which the teams saved terrified and stranded animals from rooftops, balconies, floating mattresses, shelving, the tops of cars, and more. One kitten clung for days to the top of an umbrella! The total number of animals who drowned because they had been left in crates or chained or penned in backyards is unknown.
PETA has released a hurricane-preparedness public service announcement. Make plans to ensure the safety of animal companions long before evacuating. For more information, please visit PETA.org.