The destructive flooding that struck Louisiana this year was devastating to both people and animals. Since we first responded, American Humane, our volunteers, and local animal organizations like the Humane Society of Louisiana, LSU, Dog People of Livingston, and Big Sky Ranch have helped reunite pet owners with their best friends, distributed thousands of pounds of pet food, and provided support and assistance to thousands of animals during their greatest time of need.
The story of Gracie Hope was particularly touching. Someone found this sweet dog on the side of the road after being hit by a car. She was badly injured and needed veterinary care. American Humane Rescue rushed her to a Banfield Pet Hospital where a volunteer veterinarian performed a critical operation, saving Gracie’s life.
Stories like these are what keep us going. So many animals would be left to suffer without our help and that is why we have made a long-term commitment to the Baton Rouge region.
Last week, a team from American Humane, including our Chief Veterinary Officer, spent time in Louisiana with the shelters and organizations affected by the floods to map out our plans for 2017.
As the new year approaches, we have some major updates to share:
- In early 2017 American Humane will be unveiling a specially equipped 50-foot Baton Rouge animal rescue vehicle. This vehicle, which contains sleeping quarters for a team of emergency responders and carries lifesaving supplies and sheltering equipment, will be based and staffed in Louisiana, giving American Humane a permanent presence in the region. The vehicle will stand ready to respond to disasters and cruelty cases, and will help educate the public about the importance of the human-animal bond and disaster preparedness;
- In 2017 we will be making thousands of dollars’ worth of grants to local organizations that need our help, in turn improving the lives of thousands of animals;
- American Humane will be launching a pet wellness campaign focused on combatting heartworm and encouraging spay/neuter efforts in the region;
- American Humane will continue its national partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, which has already provided 80,000 pounds of premium, all-natural food to aid the animal victims of the flood and distributed even more much-needed, nourishing food to local pet shelters.
We wish all of the victims of natural disasters a peaceful holiday season filled with hope and healing. In January we will be sharing more details on these various initiatives.