Thursday, January 2, 2014

Please Take A Minute To Fill Out This Survey On Pets And The Recent Ice Storm

Hi Gord,

I hope this finds you warm and on the grid.  That was quite the storm, huh?  It's great that most people are getting back to normal and interesting to now hear their opinions on the response and recovery efforts.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but animal disaster response is something near and dear to my heart and something I have been working tirelessly on for almost a decade now.  My hope is to bring Ontario (and then the rest of the country) to the level of preparedness and response of our neighbours to the south.  Up to now, it's been a VERY hard sell.  It seemed the thinking was that disasters stop right around the 49th parallel, and the odd little event that did occur had no impact on animals.  I've never had any documentation or statistics to prove otherwise, but my current mission is to change that.

I KNOW animals were impacted by this storm.  My own rabbit came dangerously close to succumbing to hypothermia.  Even when my community finally set up a warming station, there were no plans for emergency animal sheltering.  In fact, when our local animal shelter lost power they were quickly overwhelmed and responded by closing to the public entirely!!!

More importantly, (at least from a government perspective) I'm sure that concern for pets led some people to compromise their own safety.  What I need to do now is gather this information and compile some credible statistics.  To that end, I will be posting a survey for pet owners in the next couple of days, which I will need to circulate as far and wide as possible.  The other piece-the one I'm hoping you might be able to help with, is identifying what issues/hurdles other pet owners were faced with, and how/if they were resolved.  Knowing where things come short and understanding how that impacts pet owners will help me to set priorities as I continue to push for some sort of organized response for animals.

I wonder if you could call on your readership to share their stories and experiences.  Get people's thoughts and ideas while the wounds are fresh and passions are high.  Not only will this be an immense help for me, but it will allow us to all learn from each other and (hopefully) work towards mitigating these problems in the future. 

Thanks to reader Erika for taking this awesome initiative to help our four legged loved ones!

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