ASPCA aims to keep Midwest pets safe during disasters through grants to local groups
New York, N.Y.—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the first grant recipients as part of its Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program—a program that provides much-needed funding, training, and expertise to local communities to better serve and assist animals and pet owners during and after disasters.
The Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program enables the ASPCA to work with communities in disaster-prone areas to enhance their ability to respond to animals and pet owners affected by disasters. The program assists animal welfare organizations and government agencies in Midwestern states, which experience a high frequency of disasters yet garner little attention or support.
“Animals are often overlooked when it comes to disaster planning,” said Elizabeth Dominguez, ASPCA disaster response manager. “Communities must be prepared to rescue, shelter and provide emergency care for pets, as we’ve seen pet owners put their own lives in jeopardy if the local community doesn’t have a system in place to assist or accommodate their pets. This is especially important in vulnerable areas like the Midwest, which experience higher rates of natural disasters.”
Through the Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program, the ASPCA is providing more than $50,000 to the below groups:
- Animal Rescue League Of Iowa (Des Moines, Iowa) for water rescue equipment and water rescue training.
- Beadle County Humane Society (Huron, S.D.) for rescue supplies and kennels to increase sheltering capacity.
- Benton Animal Control and Adoption Center (Benton, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
- Butler County Kansas Animal Response Team (Augusta, Kan.) for emergency response equipment.
- City of Sherwood Department of Humane Animal Services (Sherwood, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
- City of St. Cloud, Minn. for disaster preparedness equipment.
- Enid SPCA (Enid, Okla.) for funds to create a Garfield County Animal Response Team (CART).
- Faulkner County Animal Response Team (Conway, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
- Johnson County Animal Response Team (Lenexa, Kan.) for emergency trailer and rescue equipment.
- Kingman Pratt Area Animal Response Team (Cheney, Kan.) for emergency storage trailer.
- Kansas SART, Inc. (Wichita, Kan.) for animal rescue courses instructed by ASPCA experts and registration costs for emergency response exercises.
- Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (St. Paul, Minn.) for the creation of a Minnesota State Animal Response Team (SART).
- Nebraska Humane Society (Omaha, Neb.) for large animal handling training for emergency responders in Omaha, Neb., Lincoln, Neb. and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
- Springfield-Greene County Community Emergency Response Team (Springfield, Mo.) for sheltering equipment, trailers and computers.
In addition to launching the ASPCA Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program, the ASPCA has been working with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to support animal welfare organizations across the country by providing the equipment and supplies necessary to respond to large-scale disasters. PetSmart Charities has provided its first cache grant of $6,550 to Nebraska Humane Society for disaster response equipment including crates and other sheltering supplies that will allow them to board and care for an increased number of animals in the event of a disaster.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters around the country, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Joplin tornado in 2011, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.
Organizations interested in applying for funding or assistance through the program should contact[email protected].
Organizations outside of the Midwest seeking disaster response funding should visit:http://www.aspcapro.org/grants