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Challenges of Managing Animals in Disasters in the U.S.

Heath SE, Linnabary RD - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters.There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership.Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program Development and Analysis, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC 20472, USA. 1952heath@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community's emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Proportion of all evacuated households that attempted to rescue pets after the owners evacuated without their pets from a slow and a rapid onset disaster [28].
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animals-05-00173-f006: Proportion of all evacuated households that attempted to rescue pets after the owners evacuated without their pets from a slow and a rapid onset disaster [28].

Mentions: Amongst the consequences of people leaving their pets behind are later attempts by owners to rescue their animals after they have evacuated. This is a rare, albeit very dangerous and often high profile behavior (Figure 6) [28]. In most cases the desire to rescue a pet is the result of peer pressure and from media stories about abandoned pets that are at risk of hazardous exposure. Less common are owners who were not at home when evacuation orders were given and, despite trying, are not given access to their homes. In either case the risk to human life should be evaluated and if deemed insignificant, animal rescues are best conducted jointly under the direct supervision of trained emergency response and animal care personnel who can determine if an animal is amenable to evacuation without delay or risk of injury to response personnel, owner or animal [24].


Challenges of Managing Animals in Disasters in the U.S.

Heath SE, Linnabary RD - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Proportion of all evacuated households that attempted to rescue pets after the owners evacuated without their pets from a slow and a rapid onset disaster [28].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494405&req=5

animals-05-00173-f006: Proportion of all evacuated households that attempted to rescue pets after the owners evacuated without their pets from a slow and a rapid onset disaster [28].
Mentions: Amongst the consequences of people leaving their pets behind are later attempts by owners to rescue their animals after they have evacuated. This is a rare, albeit very dangerous and often high profile behavior (Figure 6) [28]. In most cases the desire to rescue a pet is the result of peer pressure and from media stories about abandoned pets that are at risk of hazardous exposure. Less common are owners who were not at home when evacuation orders were given and, despite trying, are not given access to their homes. In either case the risk to human life should be evaluated and if deemed insignificant, animal rescues are best conducted jointly under the direct supervision of trained emergency response and animal care personnel who can determine if an animal is amenable to evacuation without delay or risk of injury to response personnel, owner or animal [24].

Bottom Line: Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters.There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership.Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Program Development and Analysis, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC 20472, USA. 1952heath@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community's emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus