||Alert: Evacuation for Hurricane Ike with
Persons evacuating for Hurricane Ike are advised
to call 2-1-1 for the latest information on available facilities open
for emergency animal sheltering for livestock and pets.
"The 2-1-1 operators assist evacuees with other information, and
operational animal shelters are another important piece of information
the operators can provide evacuees," said Dr. Matt Cochran, emergency
management veterinarian with the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC),
the state's livestock and poultry health regulatory agency. The TAHC is
one of more than 30 agencies on Texas' Emergency Management Council for
the Governors Division of Emergency Management.
For several years, staff members from the Texas Animal Health Commission,
the state's livestock and poultry health regulatory agency, have worked
with livestock facility owners and managers to determine which sale barns,
expo centers and show grounds can be used to shelter livestock during
As there is no state agency responsible for companion animals, the Texas
State Animal Resource Team (TXSART) works with animal care organizations
to assist local communities to provide emergency shelters for pets.
The TAHC and Texas Agrilife extension agents have teamed up in many counties
with local emergency management coordinators, veterinarians, ranchers,
feed stores and local animal care groups to develop volunteer animal issue
committees and develop response plans for sheltering or evacuation. These
committees can provide an invaluable service and ease the distress of
persons being evacuated. It's a way of neighbor helping neighbor. By planning
ahead for "worst-case" scenarios, the committees are prepared
for all aspects of animal care, including emergency shelter, triage and
routine care, and carcass disposal.