This Care2 Petition arose from a tragedy within a tragedy. Hurricane Harvey, on its own, has already been a devastating and terrifying disaster. However, coupled with that the pure sadness of abandoned animals, confused and alone, struggling to survive without their families, Hurricane Harvey is even harder to process. This petition, written by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), asks for people to pledge one simple thing amidst the chaos: I won’t abandon my pets.
It’s important to clarify that this is not about shame. This is not about attacking people who may have, through no fault of their own, been forced to leave their animals behind. The pledge asks that people plan in advance because disasters can happen at any time. If we plan ahead, no one has to get left behind. Animals are, after all, just as much a part of our families as any human. The only difference is that animals depend much more heavily on humans to keep them safe than other humans do.
When people don’t prepare, you end up with abandoned animals who, left to their own devices, are severely injured or worse. It’s hard enough for a human to survive a hurricane, let alone a dog, cat, or any other domesticated animal that isn’t equipped to survive alone.
So what can you do in advance? Make sure pets are wearing collars and ID tags. Create an emergency preparedness kit, that includes things for your pet. And find safe, pet-friendly places to stay ahead of time.
When we adopt animals, we accept responsibility for their lives. We can’t leave them behind. Sign the petition and make the pledge if you’re ready and willing to plan ahead. Together we can make these hurricanes less devastating for everyone.
Image source: The Humane Society of the United States