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Nearly Half of Americans Won't Flee Without Fido
Date:9/5/2008

National Survey From American Humane Shows Public Reluctant to Evacuate Without Their Companions; Hurricane Gustav Pet Evacuation Efforts Confirm

Survey Results

DENVER, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A 2007 survey by the American Humane Association found that 47 percent of Americans would refuse rescue assistance if it meant leaving without their family pet. With Hurricanes Hanna, Ike and Josephine moving towards the U.S. coast, residents and officials should begin properly planning for their pets' care during an evacuation.

This startling statistic showcased the importance of pet evacuation planning efforts such as those deployed before Hurricane Gustav. It also reaffirms the strength of the human-animal bond and the importance the public sees in the rescue of animals during times of crisis.

The study found that nearly three out of four people surveyed (72 percent) agreed that there should be formal evacuation plans for pets. Not surprisingly, the support for formal disaster plans for pets and companion animals was strongest in the South (74 percent) and West (76 percent), areas most closely associated with hurricanes and wildfires.

"During Hurricane Katrina, American Humane and others rescued nearly 10,000 animals," said Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of American Humane. "As Gustav set its sights on Louisiana we were part of efforts that temporarily and safely housed more than 1,000 animals for evacuating residents who needed a place to shelter their pets. Now, with hurricane season in full swing, it's important that the lessons and successes applied in Louisiana are applied elsewhere."

The study surveyed 1,000 adults to gauge their attitudes and level of preparedness surrounding disasters. Areas of research included determining the public interest in formal evacuation plans for pets, policy surrounding ownership of pets lost in a disaster and the steps people have taken to prepare their p
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SOURCE American Humane Association
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