Best Friends Animal Society First Responders Assessing Animal Rescue Needs in Flood-Ravaged Tabasco, Mexico

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A team from Best Friends Animal Society has arrived in the Mexican state of Tabasco to assess the effect of recent floods on the animal population.

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We are stunned by the lack of information in the media on this disaster's impact on animals

A team from Best Friends Animal Society has arrived in the Mexican state of Tabasco to assess the effect of recent floods on the animal population. The situation is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina, with hundreds of thousands of homeless residents. One report indicated that as many as 100,000 cattle and other domestic animals and tens of thousands of family pets are stranded by the floods.

“We are stunned by the lack of information in the media on this disaster's impact on animals,” said Paul Berry, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “We’ll do a thorough assessment and publish our findings ASAP, so other international organizations can determine how best they can help.”

Best Friends helped save 6,000 dogs and cats during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has since become one of the more well-known animal rescue groups based in the United States.

Rich Crook, rapid response manager for Best Friends, met today with Mexico’s Minister of Health to discuss current recovery plans. And Crook will meet with military officials on Wednesday and tour the disaster area by military helicopter to determine what is needed to help animals survive the flooding conditions.

Estimates are that hundreds of thousands of Tabasco residents are homeless and living in shelters. Another 80,000 others are said to be trapped in remote areas of the state. Many residents are trying to get to their homes to remove clothing and personal belongings, including pets that may have been stranded.

In a British Broadcasting Corporation article, President Felipe Calderón called the situation “extraordinarily grave.” Then in a recently televised address he said: "It's one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country.”

As the situation develops, Best Friends will continue to update its members and the news media on the progress of its animal rescue activities. For more information and to keep up with developments, visit: http://www.bestfriends.org .

About Best Friends Animal Society
Located on 33,000 acres in Kanab, Utah, Best Friends Animal Society operates the country’s largest sanctuary for homeless pets and is home, on any given day, to about 1,500 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds and other animals. Best Friends works globally with animal shelters and rescue groups to bring about a time when there will be no more homeless pets. Best Friends advances initiatives nationwide that promote community approaches to make the world a better place through kindness to animals, including adoption, spay/neuter, and humane education programs.

“Kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us.”

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Barbara Williamson


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