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Monday, April 17, 2006

Humane Society of the U.S. Gives More Money for Katrina Recovery

From the Humane Society of the United States:

The Humane Society of the United States announced more than $800,000 in additional grants to organizations working on pet welfare issues in the Gulf Coast. The HSUS is providing $445,000 in recovery and rebuilding grants to animal shelters affected by Hurricane Katrina and to groups who assisted with relief and sheltering of animal victims. The HSUS also identified two organizations that will receive a total of $375,000 for spay and neuter work.

To date, The HSUS has spent or committed more than $25 million on emergency aid and programs to help people and animals recover from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters that occurred in 2005.

"Recovery is a long process, and we are committed to providing long-term and sustainable solutions for pets in Louisiana and Mississippi," said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. "These latest expenditures are part of The Humane Society of the United States' ongoing commitment to help reestablish animal care and sheltering systems in the Gulf region and to deal with the historic pet overpopulation and heartworm problems in the region."

The new rebuilding grants include $100,000 to the Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary whose buildings were either damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes; $100,000 to St. Tammany Humane Society for facility repairs and toward costs of serving a huge increase in people and animals in its community; $10,000 to TRANS/Feral Cat Consortium for the construction of additional feral cat housing areas in New Orleans; $15,000 to Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for the purchase of replacement equipment; $20,000 to Ascension Animal Advocates, a foster care program, for covering expenses incurred from caring for rescued Katrina animals; $20,000 to the Washington Parish Humane Society for structural repairs and the purchase of a replacement truck; $15,000 to Used Dogs for structural repairs and replacement equipment; $15,000 to Cajun Clickers to reimburse for more than 1,400 hours of computer work; and $40,000 to Humane Society of Louisiana to purchase a replacement animal transport vehicle.

The new recovery grants include $50,000 to the Santa Cruz (Calif.) SPCA, which coordinated airlifts of animals from the disaster zone, managed reunions, and treated numerous animals for heartworm; $45,000 to the Animal Sanctuary of the United States (Texas), which is still housing more than 300 cats and several dogs rescued from Katrina; and $15,000 to Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals for its handling of Katrina animals, including many with major medical issues.

Earlier this year, The HSUS announced that at least $1.5 million would be allocated to address the problem of animal overpopulation in the Gulf. Today, The HSUS has awarded the Southern Animal Foundation in Louisiana $250,000 to allow for an expansion of the group's spay and neuter work. The HSUS had previously made a grant of $75,000 to the group.

In addition, The HSUS and American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have each awarded $125,000 to the Humane Alliance and its "Big Fix Rig" to conduct high-volume spay and neuter activities in the Gulf region. Also, The HSUS is working with Louisiana State University in developing a major spay neuter program. Finally, The HSUS has committed $200,000 for a spay and neuter program organized by the ASPCA with financing from PetSmart Charities.

"With the many major programs we are supporting that will very dramatically enhance the spaying and neutering capacity in the Gulf region, we truly hope to conquer the pet overpopulation problem so that there is a home for every animal in need," adds Pacelle.

The HSUS has asked federal and state agencies to adopt new public policies related to animals in disasters. The HSUS is also promoting House and Senate legislation, the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (S. 2548 and H.R. 3858), to require that state and local authorities include pets and service animals in their disaster evacuation plans. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved H.R. 3858 last week.

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