132 Feet of Hope, Help and Healing Arrives in Oklahoma
American Humane Association’s Red Star™ Rescue Team Brings a Century of Experience (and Two Giant Trucks) to Help Animals of Moore, Oklahoma
WHAT: American Humane Association’s legendary Red Star Rescue team arrived last week at the invitation of the state to help the animal victims of the Oklahoma tornado and is assisting the Moore Animal Shelter and many other local groups to rescue, comfort and care for lost, injured and frightened pets separated from their families. They brought with them the 82-foot Red Star™ Rescue Rig, which is equipped with a mobile operating theater, rescue equipment, and sleeping quarters for 12 emergency responders sponsored by Mars Petcare US, and Red Star’s 50-foot “Lois Pope LIFE Rescue Vehicle.” In heartwarming scenes, pets are already being reunited with their loving families at the temporary shelter, but many more may come in as the result of upcoming search and rescue operations. Code 3, another rescue group, is assisting with the sheltering work.
WHO: American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services, which began in 1916 when the charity was asked to rescue wounded horses on the battlefields of World War I Europe and has been involved in virtually every major disaster since, including the Great Ohio Flood of 1937, Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and Superstorm Sandy.
WHERE: Cleveland County Fairgrounds INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
615 E. Robinson Street, Norman, OK Please call first
Many people and organizations across the country helped make Red Star’s deployment to help the animals of Moore possible. With the help of country singer Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation, Red Star was initially invited by the State of Oklahoma to deploy as an approved responder to assist Moore’s animal victims in need as a result of this devastating disaster. Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs and WHISKAS® Food for Cats, is sponsoring the deployment of the giant Rescue Rig and donating emergency food supplies. Banfield Pet Hospital, a business of Mars, Incorporated, is offering veterinary care, along with Zoetis, which is offering vitally needed medicines. Philanthropist Lois Pope and American Humane Association supporters across the country who sent in donations for the relief effort are also supporting this effort. Logistics are being provided by Rescue Bank®, Mars Petcare's partner for donation shipment. Rescue Bank manages a nationwide network of non-profit distribution centers delivering donated pet food to rescues, shelters and social service agencies. And thanks to PetSmart Charities and Code 3 for supplying and delivering much-needed extra crates.
Local shelters have enough supplies. To find a lost pet from Moore go to http://www.okclostpets.com/ .
10 Tips to Keep Children and Animals Safe and Help Them Cope After a Disaster
The tornado is gone and the immediate danger apparently past, but hazards remain. Experts at American Humane Association have put together a series of 10 simple tips to help parents and caregivers keep children and animals safe and help them cope with the physical and emotional aftermath of the disaster:
- Even though the worst seems to be over, supervise children closely and inspect those areas in which they are playing. Gullies, downed electric wires, and sharp debris are just a few of the hazards children may encounter following a disaster of this magnitude.
- Keep an eye on children’s emotional reaction to the crisis. Talk to children – and just as important – listen to them. Encourage kids to express how they feel and ask if anything is worrying them.
- Regardless of age, reassure them frequently that you, local officials, and their communities are all working to keep them safe and return life back to normal. Older children may seem more capable but may also be affected by the displacement in their lives.
- Watch for symptoms of stress, including clinginess, stomachaches, headaches, nightmares, trouble eating or sleeping, or changes in behavior.
- If you are concerned about the way your children are responding long after the crisis is over, consult your doctor, school counselor or local mental health professional.
Uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals, too, presenting new stresses and dangers.
- Your pet’s behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers.
- Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.
- Following a disaster, keep your pets on a leash. Changes in the landscape may confuse them and fences and other landmarks may have changed, making it more likely for them to become lost.
- Be careful when allowing pets outside where they may encounter sharp or toxic debris.
- Animals may be at more risk to various diseases that accompany disasters. Consult your veterinarian if your pet displays any unusual physical symptoms, and determine if any precautionary measures should be considered.
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. For more information and tips, or to support Red Star’s efforts, go to www.americanhumane.org or call 1-866-242-1877.