CAPE COD, Mass., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ — The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW-www.ifaw.org) today announced it has contributed $25,000 to three organizations dedicated to helping companion animals affected by the tragic events of September 11th. Since the destruction of the World Trade Center complex, countless rescue and medical organizations have worked tirelessly to aid the thousands of people affected. Stranded household pets and exhausted rescue dogs have found support from three organizations which today received a helping hand from IFAW: the Humane Society of New York, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA), and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
“This is good news for animals and people,” said IFAW President Fred O’Regan. “The first response to a tragedy such as this is, and must be, to address overwhelming human needs. Like countless others around the world, our staff immediately responded to urgent requests for blood donations and IFAW sent supplies to the valiant rescue teams working at ground zero. Today we take the opportunity to address one of the less visible impacts of this disaster and ensure companion animals injured or left abandoned by this tragedy also receive appropriate care,” O’Regan said. “The affection of a beloved family pet can help make horrific events more bearable. IFAW is proud to support the fine work local groups are doing to help meet this need.”
Shortly after the attacks, the Humane Society of New York set up emergency triage at Pier 40 near ground zero where they treated over 200 animals. The society has provided free medical care, food supplies, and foster care arrangements for pets affected by the attack, and has escorted people into the disaster area to search for their pets.
As hundreds of rescue dogs work around the clock at the site of the WTC, the Suffolk County SPCA has been there to treat these animals as well as others found in surrounding buildings. Their 40-foot MASH unit, which usually is used for low cost spay/neuter and rabies programs, has seen over 600 visits while providing logistical support for the rescue dogs.
To assist these and other veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation has provided reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses up to $5,000 for those treating these animals. They also train veterinarians in disaster medicine and buy needed equipment for the Veterinary Medical Assistance Team.
IFAW works to help domestic and wild animals in areas of greatest need in the United States and around the world and educates the public on disaster preparedness. Through its Pet Rescue program, IFAW last year assisted over 52 shelters in 10 countries including Africa, China, the UK, Canada, Russia, France, and Germany.