NEW YORK, October 24, 2007?The ASPCA? (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?) is providing funding to the San Diego Humane Society for hay and other equine supplies needed following the outbreak of devastating wildfires in California.
"The ASPCA is happy to provide financial assistance for animals affected by this horrible tragedy," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "Our disaster readiness experts are in touch with the San Diego Animal Coalition as well as animal welfare groups throughout the Los Angeles area, and although the ASPCA's assistance on the ground has not yet been requested, we are standing by and monitoring the situation carefully."
Animal welfare officials in the area say evacuees appear to be taking their animals with them and that shelters, especially the Red Cross, have been very accommodating toward pets. However, larger animals, such as horses, can present special challenges, according to the ASPCA's Senior Director of National Outreach, Sandy Monterose. "We're glad to be able to help address the challenge of providing food for some of the larger animals," she said.
For people and organizations wanting to help, Ms. Monterose said, "California pet parents were amazingly prepared, and many made disaster plans for themselves and for their livestock and companion animals. The time for more aid will come when those that have been left homeless will need their local organizations to help them, and those organizations will then need the community's help to provide needed supplies and services."
Monterose added that organizations outside the immediate area, including national organizations like the ASPCA, "only respond when invited into communities after their resources are exhausted."