Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Latest Update from Best Friends

"Happy New Year" to you and your family from Joy and Martha and their families.

The latest update from Michael Mountain of Best Friends. Michael will be our guest tonight on Talk With Your Animals radio show.

In the week after Thanksgiving, nearly 40,000 of you signed Best Friends' petition, showing your support for a plan to mount a final rescue, care, and nationwide adoption drive for family pets who are still roaming the streets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

When you signed the petition you helped make a difference, and today Best Friends is delighted to announce the national humane groups are all on board with this plan, as are local shelters. The whole effort is about to get underway.

First, we're setting up two new rescue centers: one in New Orleans and the other in Gulfport, Mississippi. Rescue teams will be bringing animals there for an official 5-day holding period in case it turns out the pets they rescue still have a local family. After that, we'll be driving or flying them to carefully chosen shelters around the country to be placed in good, new, loving homes.

Best Friends is functioning as the "lead agency" in this whole effort. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, and United Animal Nations (UAN) will be helping to fund the work at the two rescue centers. And UAN will also be offering volunteer support. The American Humane Association has offered their emergency rescue truck to do spaying and neutering if needed.And the Helen Woodward Animal Center will be playing a major part in the adoption effort, bringing many of the rescued pets into their nationwide "Home for the Holidays" adoption drive that's in full swing at this time of year.

Since the hurricane blew in at the end of August, thousands of people have worked together in the biggest animal rescue effort ever. And now comes the last stage of that effort.

Incidentally, there was a concern on the part of other national humane groups that Best Friends' petition implied some criticism of them. That was not the intention, and Best Friends has no such criticism. Other humane groups are working hard in planning for the future of the region. For example, the ASPCA is putting together a major spay/neuter drive across a wide area there. But Best Friends own assessment of the region, the week before Thanksgiving, showed that there was still a need for serious rescue work, and they are delighted that they can all have a unified plan of action, backed by the major humane groups and supported by you, our members and friends.

A copy of the rescue plan, along with regular updates as it gets underway, will be posted on the Best Friends website, www.bestfriends.org.

Thank you, as always, for making it all possible.

Michael Mountain

P.S. Best Friends estimates that we will spend well over $1 million in transport and adoption costs alone to get these animals to safety and then to loving homes. Anything that you can donate at this time would be a tremendous help. Please contribute what you can at https://www.bestfriends.org/donate/hrf.cfm


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