The Humane Society Has Their Hurricane Prep Training - - The News for South Mississippi

The Humane Society Has Their Hurricane Prep Training

A warning tacked to the door serves as a reminder of why they're here.  

"It makes me nauseous," Humane Society of South Mississippi Executive Director Tara High says with a chuckle of the projected path.

But High can laugh instead of cry because she says they've learned the lessons of Katrina.  

"We are ready," says High. "If we have to evacuate our animals today we can do that. We can set up the pet friendly shelter. We're ready."    

And they're ready to do even more thanks to the training they're getting from the Humane Society of the United States Disaster Animal Response Team.  

"You know you see the people out there rescuing the animals but there's a lot more to it," says Southeast Regional Director Laura Bevan. "Every animal that's picked up has to be taken care of. Every animal that's picked up we have to try and find the owners and if we can't find the owners, find a new home. Every animal has to have veterinary care. Every animal need to be comfortable."

DART training aims to accomplish just that and the only way to hit that target instructor Laura Bevan says is through preparedness and public education.  

"People either did not leave because they could not take their animals with them," says Bevan. "They didn't know where to go. And some of those people died in those homes with those animals. So of them did leave their animals behind because they didn't know what to do."

Bevan calls those animals the forgotten victims.  

"Those animals either died or were lost in the storm."

Victims Tara High vows won't ever be forgotten again.  

"No one was prepared last year," says High. "But if we made the same mistakes again then it's shame on us." 

by Don Culpepper

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