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United Animal Nations Offers Financial Assistance Grants of up to $500 to Help Southern California Fire Victims Obtain Vet Care, Temporary Boarding for Pets
Date:10/26/2007

Animal Evacuation Experts from the Pioneer in Animal Disaster Assistance Offer Advice for Evacuees, Others, in Disaster-Prone Areas

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Animal Nations (UAN), the organization that pioneered disaster relief for animals 20 years ago and provided emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Southern California wildfires in 2003, is offering financial assistance grants of up to $500 to help victims of the devastating fires in Southern California care for their pets.

"When people lose their homes and everything they own in a fire, they often do not have the resources to pay for vet care for injured pets, or to board their pets temporarily until they find a new place to live," said UAN President & CEO Nicole Forsyth. "Through our LifeLine Crisis Relief Grant program, we can relieve families of the stress of caring for their pets so they can focus on rebuilding their lives."

UAN's LifeLine Crisis Relief Grants can help fire victims with expenses for the following:

-- Veterinary care to treat injury or illness caused by the fire

-- Temporary boarding

-- Transporting the animal to a temporary living situation

UAN will offer qualified individual applicants up to $500 as long as funds are available. Since UAN's LifeLine Crisis Relief Grant Program is supported solely by private donations, individuals can help keep services flowing to evacuees and their pets in need with donations to the Disaster Relief Fund by visiting http://www.uan.org.

To get eligibility information and apply for a LifeLine Crisis Relief Grant, visit http://www.uan.org or call (916) 429-2457.

Through its volunteer-driven Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), UAN has provided emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services during some of the nation's most severe disasters. In addition to those named above, UAN also responded to Hurricanes Bret, Dennis and Floyd in 1999; the Midwest floods in 1993, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and dozens more.

UAN ALSO OFFERS THE FOLLOWING PET HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR EVACUEES:

Give temporary identification for your pet. If you are staying at a shelter, hotel or other temporary site, a temporary identification tag with your current location information and a cell phone number or other number where you can be reached will help you find your pet if you get separated.

Put safety first. If you are in an unfamiliar place, especially a hotel or large evacuation shelter, you will encounter many animals, people and children who may have varied experience with animals. Animals can be easily frightened in stressful situations and may become aggressive or defensive. Keep your pet restrained in a carrier or crate or on a leash at all times and avoid having your pet come in direct contact with other pets when possible.

Watch for signs of illness. Stress or eating different food can cause diarrhea in pets, especially dogs. If your dog is experiencing loose stools, make sure that fresh water is available at all times. Take dogs out for frequent, short walks. If their normal food is unavailable, supplement their food with white rice and cottage cheese. If the problem persists, consult a veterinarian.

Comfort your pet. Give your pets extra reassurance and attention to help keep them calm. Some animals may find toys, especially long-lasting chew toys, comforting. Your animals will appreciate your calm presence and soft, comforting voice, and you may find it comforting to spend time with them, too.

Seek assistance. If you find you are unable to care for your pet because of destruction of or damage to your residence, United Animal Nations is offering LifeLine Crisis Relief Grants to assist pet owners with vet care, temporary boarding and transportation. Learn more at http://www.uan.org or call (916) 429-2457.

PET DISASTER SAFETY TIPS

Major natural disasters often cause people in unaffected areas to think about what would do if disaster struck close to home. To that end, UAN offers the following tips for including animals in family emergency planning:

1. Identify evacuation locations

If a disaster forces you from your home, always bring your animals with you. Identify pet-friendly hotels, boarding kennels, ranches and loved ones outside of your immediate area that could accommodate your pets. Practice loading your animals into your vehicle so they aren't frightened when the real thing happens. Remember, most shelters for humans cannot accept pets due to local health department regulations.

2. Identify pets with tags and permanent microchips

A microchip, a tiny tracking device, is the single best way to reunite lost pets with their families. Inserting a microchip is as quick and easy as giving a vaccination; veterinarians and many animal control agencies offer the service. Make sure to update your microchip information if you move, get a new phone number or change emergency contacts.

3. Start a buddy system

If fire strikes while you are not home, your animals could be stranded behind disaster lines. Exchange keys and disaster plans with a trusted neighbor who can remove your animals in case of an evacuation. Make sure your buddy is familiar with the species of animals that you have, and with your pets in particular.

4. Assemble a disaster kit for each pet

A disaster kit contains food, water, medication and other supplies you may not be able to get if roads and business are closed. Assemble a disaster kit for each animal in your household and keep it near an exit so you can easily grab it if forced to leave.

5. Take photos of you with your pets

If you are separated from your pets, photographs can prove ownership if you must reclaim them from a shelter. Keep copies of these photos in your wallet and in your disaster kit.

Now celebrating its 20th year, United Animal Nations (UAN) is North America's leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals.


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SOURCE United Animal Nations
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