, Muskogee, OK


May 28, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Include animals in search, rescue efforts

— As a heartwarming video of a tornado victim finding her dog beneath the rubble of her house while being interviewed for CBS News shows, many beloved dogs and cats may still be alive and trapped in the wreckage left from the tornadoes that tore through Oklahoma.

I encourage those who are searching for survivors and helping with cleanup to alert local animal control or animal rescue agencies to any animals they find left behind, injured, or otherwise in need of help.

Including animals in rescue efforts protects both animals and the people who care about them. As we learned from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, many people would rather risk their lives than leave behind their beloved animals to face certain death after a disaster.

For the tornado victims who have lost everything, their animal companions may be their only source of comfort. Honoring the human-animal bond by ensuring that all members of victims’ families are saved is of utmost importance.

To learn how you can help keep animals safe in disasters, visit


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