ALBERS ON KATRINA DISASTER - ďHOLD TIGHTĒ
Comments from Diane Albers, President, Florida
Association Of Kennel Clubs, Member Fla. State Agriculture Response Team, Disaster
Animal Rescue Team
August 30, 2005 / In the hurried calls
to and from Louisiana,
Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states, hereís a synopsis as of Tuesday afternoon:
"Hold Tight. You canít get in
there now, Martial Law has been declared. What you can and must do is get
organized, set up a collection point in your area for veterinary supplies and
crates. Transportation is extremely important, large vehicles, trucks, and
drivers to move the animals to Shelter." Diane went on to explain that
it will not be until after the worst dangers like downed wires, buildings
collapsing, and survivors have been rescued that animal rescue teams will be
Diane advises "Please, donít
add to the confusion or complicate the rescue efforts, but DO ORGANIZE help!"
She is organizing convoys from Florida and trying to help arrange similar
efforts in neighboring states, particularly Texas. Her Group is "trying to
locate people who stayed behind because they could not or would not evacuate and
leave horses and other beloved animals to die." The reality is, some of
those people died and not knowing who survived, if they are injured, where they
are, well, itís driving everyone crazy.
Donít clog this line!!!!
800-597-2987 Call only if you can offer:
Supplies (veterinary, bedding, crates) Specialty Foods.
Diane is in constant touch with
AKCís Dennis Sprung. As in other times, help is there. AKC has been
magnificent in response to Hurricanes Charlie, Gene, Andrew and other disasters. Dog food was
sent by Iams and Purina and Diane believes other manufacturers can be counted on
again to move food into the stricken area. What wasnít anticipated in Florida
was the need for specialty foods! For example, pigs born to be slaughtered
can only eat special stuff and big cats eat 200 pounds of meat per day!
If there was time for a grim smile it was when she explained a situation
where she finally "delegated" someone to do something she didn't want to do -
feed those big cats!
Diane cautions there will be
other unexpected problems. The Florida group
rescued over 18,000 animals during the Charlie, Gene, and Andrew disasters. A lot of people
really gave the most important thing we have - our time! Diane mentioned one Beagle gal who drove every day to designated areas, worked
to exhaustion, then drove back to her home town long enough to get a few hours sleep,
then back to care for the animals, day after grueling day. No single hero here. Just
people caring for people and for animals. Is there a more noble cause?
AGAIN Ė Organization is critical.
"Our military will bring out the animals as they can. Right now,
they are the only ones allowed in there. Obviously they will bring out people first, but our
military and Guard people are great! Most of them love animals and they
will get as many as they can."
Hereís what Dianeís group has
learned from experience. Hopefully you are close enough to aid in a
massive effort covering the entire Gulf Coast region from Louisiana up into Georgia.
Whether you are or not - get organized in your own
area!!! If you are a member of any dog club, offer your services. Agility
people, field trial enthusiasts, you are all a tremendous asset. Your
physical strength and endurance may be needed. Disasters are not show rings
where the worst we worry about is running into the ring divider or tripping over
are hard to come by and vitally needed when rescuers move in. How can the
people move their pets? We advise you go to the airlines
(yes now) as representative of _______ Disaster Rescue Organization and ask them
to save the crates that people donít take when they pick up their pets. Yes, people
leave those crates. Get the name of Senior Freight Agents, ask them to give you
even one crate now, and to save accumulated crates for your group to pick up
once a week. Diane came up with another great idea, "Go to the hospitals and ask for discarded surgical packs,
they don't use everything in them and there are valuable sterile collectibles."
Collect and store water containers, crates and supplies in your groupís warehouse. Yes,
warehouse. A moisture-free rental building to start with.
businessmen to donate space and help. They will!! Youíd be
surprised. Especially now when this is on their minds. Next month, you will
have lost the advantage of news coverage.
trucking firm and ask them to take what youíve collected down to a
central collection point at the disaster area. This time, next time, and if God
forbid, your area is hit. And now is the time to remind each and every one of
you that it may not be a natural disaster. Homeland Security begins with home
folks. Thatís YOU.
Someone must answer the phone.
Set up a hotline in your area. It can be call
forwarded around to different volunteers so no one has the whole burden.
In the devastation caused by the hurricanes in Florida, the forgotten victims
are often the dogs. There are two funds which have been initiated specifically
for the benefit of the purebred dogs affected by the storms. If you wish to help
to the canine victims of the Florida hurricanes, there are two associations that
will use your donations to provide medical supplies, necessary care, and if
Canine Support & Relief Fund
American Kennel Club
260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016-2401
Contributions are used to immediately purchase needed equipment and supplies and
deliver them directly to contact centers. Please note on the check that monies
should go toward helping the victims of natural disasters.
The Florida Association of Kennel
401 Cardinal Oaks
Lake Mary, Florida 32746
know here, how we can help,
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UPDATE ON KATRINA DISASTER -
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Offers and Needs
Be sure your time, supplies, or money winds up in the
This just in from TheDogPress. It bears
sad witness to the problems identified by Diane -
DOGS HELD HOSTAGE