Ahead of Hurricane Laura, which is predicted to strike the border between Louisiana and Texas tomorrow as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, Alley Cat Allies has been moving fast to protect cats and kittens in the storm’s path.
“The threats posed by the hurricane are heightened by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which has left communities strained financially and complicates evacuation and recovery,” says Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson. “We are acting quickly before the storm arrives to ensure cats and kittens are not overlooked and receive lifesaving support.”
We have provided disaster relief emergency funding to the Humane Society of Louisiana, based in New Orleans, and Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston as they batten down the hatches and prepare to save animals’ lives. With our support, the Humane Society of Louisiana has moved more than 150 cats and dogs from local shelters and rescues to safe zones in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
“Thanks to Alley Cat Allies and their emergency funding, we have been transporting cats and kittens and many other animals to out-of-state groups we trust so they are in good hands,” says Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana. “With Alley Cat Allies’ help, we will continue to move animals out of harm’s way ahead of Hurricane Laura and will assess the situation after the storm to provide any on-the-ground support needed.”
In Houston, our emergency funding will help Friends For Life save cats and kittens in the aftermath of the hurricane. Salise Shuttlesworth, J.D., founder and executive director of Friends For Life, says she expects Hurricane Laura will cause destruction and injuries to both people and animals when it makes landfall. We are supporting Friends For Life in gearing up to be there for Houston’s animals and those who care for them, including through free veterinary clinics.
“The emergency grant from Alley Cat Allies will not only fund care for storm-affected animals in Houston, but also for those who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and need help,” Shuttlesworth says.
Hurricane Laura is strengthening rapidly and barreling toward the coastline. It is expected to make landfall early morning August 27. States of emergencies have been declared in some areas, over half a million people have already been ordered to evacuate, and countless animals will need assistance before, during, and after the storm.
We encourage all in the path of the hurricane to follow local evacuation orders, prepare for the storm, and protect cats and all animals in their care. Since other disasters could happen anywhere at any time, we also encourage everybody who has animals in their homes or cares for community cats outdoors to develop a disaster response plan.
Our resources at alleycat.org/DisasterTips provide guidelines on how to protect cats in case of emergencies. You will find checklists for emergency supplies, a guide to disaster-proofing a community cat colony, a guide to creating and executing a disaster plan for your pets, and more.
“Alley Cat Allies is protecting cats who might have been left behind or housed in an empty shelter with no place to go when the storm arrived,” says Dorson. “With their support, hundreds of lives have been saved with only hours to spare.”