In the wake of the chaos caused by the tornadoes that ravaged North Texas, many incredible stories of dogs surviving and being rescued have emerged.
Although these tales are uplifting and cause for hope, there are still so many pets in need as victims begin to pick up the pieces. Here are a few ways that you can help out.
Make A Financial Contribution:
There are plenty of ways you can help out without leaving home, the easiest being a monetary donation. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) provides a list of organizations that provide all types of disaster relief, including those that focus on pets.
A donation to the Humane Society of the United States will fund search and rescue efforts, as well as care and feeding of surviving dogs. HOPE-Animal Assisted Crisis Response is a unique charity that supplies canine therapy teams to comfort disaster survivors. Or you can provide a donation to a local shelter in the geographical area affected. No matter how small the non-profit, you can be sure they will all be pitching in to help injured and displaced pups.
This works best if you already live in the area affected. Shipping supplies can be more expensive and tedious than it’s worth. If you do decide to organize a supply drive, think about all of the items that rescuers and shelters will need to care for the pooches they save. Food, blankets, towels, treats, bathing supplies, crates and metal bowls make very welcome contributions.
Foster A Dog:
The weeks and months following a natural disaster are a haze of confusion for survivors and rescue workers. Fostering a pooch means one less pet to keep track of and one less mouth to feed until the owner can be located. Keep in mind, there is a strong chance that the arrangement will be temporary. If you don’t think you can handle bonding with a rescued dog then having to say goodbye, foster is probably not for you.
Maybe you have the time and financial means to travel to the location of the disaster to lend a hand. No matter what your skill level or animal experience, every single person can make a difference at times like these. If traveling is not a possibility, use the incident as inspiration to volunteer locally. Maybe some of the folks at your local shelter are heading off to help out the disaster survivors and are in need of support at home. You can never have too many helping hands at any animal shelter!
Get The Word Out:
Make sure everyone knows about the crisis and what they can do to help. Talk to friends, family, coworkers, strangers at the grocery store, etc. Use social media to share the photos of missing and found pets and spread the stories of the survivors. A page has already been created on behalf of the North Texas dogs on Facebook. The more people learn about the pain, fear and loss experienced by the victims, the more they will feel compelled to help out.
Knowing what to do to protect your pets should a disaster strike will not help the survivors of the North Texas Tornadoes, but it will help ensure that your pups don’t fall victim should the unthinkable happen. FEMA provides a checklist for creating a pet emergency plan:
- Make sure each pet’s tags are up-to-date and fastened to his/her collar.
- Have a current photo of you and your pet(s) for identification purposes.
- Make a pet emergency kit.
- Identify shelters in advance that will allow your pets.
- Have a secure pet carrier, leash, or harness for your pet.
The website Ready.gov also has extensive information and tips for preparing for an emergency with pets.
Featured Image via NBC News