Cameron is a return guest (head to Episode 61 for information on how she got started in the business) that is here today to discuss the hurricane relief efforts in Florida.
Cameron worked with Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program to do pre and post-storm assessments for a majority of the 155 shelters in Florida. Volunteers were responsible for contacting shelters before the storm to find out what may be needed, evacuation plans and how to distribute supplies.
This also parlayed into working with shelters to get pre-storm animals out to safety so the shelter would have room for post-storm animals that would need a place to go. When it came time to moving these animals before the hurricane hit, it proved challenging because carriers were in short supply, gas was drying up because of the mass exodus out of Florida and traffic was so horrible it took hours to travel anywhere. It was a real eye-opener on how to operate things in the future.
However, they were able to get 73 animals out of a shelter and into safety before the storm even touched the ground.
Cameron stresses the importance of having a plan in place before the storm. It’s key. She also stresses how important shelters are who aren’t in the eye of the storm, because they can be in a position to take animals that need to be relocated. The key is never to be in a position where shelters have to euthanize pre-storm animals in order to make room for post-storm animals.
Overall, things went well and it caused a funding collaborative to come together in order to work smarter together for future events. Thanks to Petco and other charities, there are plans to set up a centralized website with a grant application to help post-storm shelters.
Cameron also discusses how to potentially approach hurricane season differently in the future, and how she loved seeing the increase in people being able to take their pets with them who were evacuated to other areas. It only makes it easier on a family and a shelter.
Here’s the link to the transport best practices webinar series. aspcapro.org/webinar-series-companion-animal-transport-best-practices