KatrinaAdvocate

Ideas on assisting in the relief effort without going in person. Much can be done without leaving your house. Give those affected by disaster some hope, and use some of these ideas to help them.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Animal Crisis Letter

I wrote this in response to a woman who is fostering animals in Hancock County. I've written a blog post about her and the situation located on the Hancock County Relief Blog. Please send this to your local papers so word gets out about this secondary crisis from Katrina/Rita.

An animal crisis is occurring along the Gulf. As with any community, the unwanted pet population was already high prior to the storms and now the numbers are exploding. Feral and once-domesticated animals are all reproducing. So in this single year of uncontrolled pet breeding, the numbers are staggering and a health crisis for animals and humans has begun.

Heartworm is epidemic with triage occurring. Treatment is about $400, which can immunize 8 dogs for a full year, so dogs diagnosed with heartworm are euthanized.

The health crisis of which no one speaks, but looms dark on the horizon, is rabies. With the exploding pet, rat and raccoon populations, the rabies threat grows daily. One animal can infect a dozen or more, starting the epidemic and making the threat to humans very real. Most animal rescue organizations left, having done all their budgets allow. Veterinarians, like physicians, are at 1/4 to 1/3 staff due to relocating from the storm, so the need and the crisis is growing.

Last year’s hurricane season is far from over in so many ways.

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