When natural disasters like floods, fire, tornadoes, and earthquakes strike, evacuation happens at a moment’s notice, often leaving people little to no time to prepare. In the midst of terrifying chaos, pets can be separated from their families, left behind or forgotten, leaving them to fend for themselves. But it’s not only companion animals that need rescue. Wild animals and farm animals are also affected by disaster, causing them to require medical care and help until they can be relocated or returned to their natural habitat.
Fortunately, in the darkness and devastating aftermath you’ll find a shining light in the form of caring people dedicated to lending a helping hand. When disasters take a toll on communities, organizations of all sizes join forces to help animals in need. Whether they focus on companion animals, wildlife, or both, their devoted disaster relief teams share one common goal: Saving lives. Here are some of the larger organizations around the world working to help save animals in disaster situations.
We’ve all seen the heart-wrenching commercials. The ASPCA has been one of the leaders in animal cruelty investigations, with a large Field Investigations and Response team of experts, staff and volunteers ready to rescue animals in need. But they also has a disaster response team ready to provide boots-on-the-ground assistance to communities and organizations in the wake of a natural disaster. If you’re interested in learning more about being an animal rescue volunteer for the ASPCA, check out their requirements online.
2. The Global Alliance for Animals and People
The Global Alliance for Animals and People/Facebook
With an overall mission to “improve the quality of life of underprivileged animals and people,” this organization’s disaster relief division was developed after recognizing a dire need for organized rescue efforts in Latin America. Through a partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, they provide medical care and temporary shelter for displaced animals, with an end goal of reuniting them with their families. They also work with local government agencies to develop disaster preparedness plans for people with animals. Visit their website to learn more about their inspiring mission and rescue efforts.
3. The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States/Facebook
The Humane Society of the United States’ rescue and legislative efforts aim to help animals of all species. With an army of staff and volunteers on hand, their Disaster Relief teams are ready to hit the ground running to assist in natural disaster situations. These dedicated teams are equipped to handle large-scale situations, providing rescue assistance, veterinary care and temporary shelter for animals. Want to join their team? Check out their animal rescue volunteer training opportunities. They also have handy resources to help you plan ahead for a natural disaster and keep your pets safe.
4. Humane Society International
Humane Society International/Facebook
Humane Society International’s rescue efforts span across the globe. Donations to their International Disaster Relief Fund are used to fund relief projects, including providing veterinary care and temporary shelter for animals displaced by natural disaster. They also work to help pet guardians prepare for natural disasters and evacuation, provide assistance to area shelters and assist government agencies in preparing for natural disasters. You can read more about their program and check out photos of their amazing rescue efforts by visiting their Disaster Services web page.
5. International Fund for Animal Welfare
International Fund for Animal Welfare/Facebook
The International Fund for Animal Welfare was founded to protect animals and provide funding to assist the relief efforts of other organizations. Their incredible emergency response teams respond to natural disasters, human-caused catastrophes and cruelty cases all over the world. Their efforts aim to help both companion animals and wildlife get the care they need so they can be returned to their homes or natural habitats. Through their Emergency Relief Networks, they’ve established global partnerships to ensure no animals are left behind. Learn more about how you can get involved with this great organization and help them save animals.
6. World Animal Protection
World Animal Protection/Facebook
For 50 years, World Animal Protection has been working to help communities around the world. When disasters happen, their vast network of staff and volunteers across the globe provide on-site support to communities in need. Working with local agencies, they provide veterinary care, food and shelter for animals until they can be reunited with their guardians. Because of their dedicated network of teams, over 4 million animals have been saved. Check out their website to read more about their impressive history and efforts to aid disaster-prone communities.
How You Can Help
- Be prepared. Make sure your family has a disaster plan in place that includes pets.
- Donate. Consider donating to rescue organizations so they can continue their rescue efforts. If you can’t donate, volunteer!
Lead image source: Humane Society International/Facebook