How to Help Animals in Oklahoma

OKDogMonday’s tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma, did a tremendous amount of damage to people. But in any disaster animals are also affected. In fact, one of the first videos that emerged after the twister showed a woman pulling her dog safely out of the rubble of what was her home during an interview with CBS News.

Today we’ve put out a press release advising folks to support local animal groups on the ground in Oklahoma and not the Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society of the United States opportunistically uses crises, always seeking the next fundraising haul. HSUS is already raising money even though its team is merely “on standby.” And its record is troubling.

According to documents published by the New York Attorney General, HSUS raised nearly $2 million after Hurricane Sandy and yet only spent 35 percent of that on Sandy relief. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, HSUS unscrupulously begged for “emergency donations” despite a disaster relief expert with HSUS’s own international arm admitting that nothing could be done at the time to help animals there. And milking the media around Michael Vick’s 2007 arrest, HSUS raised funds on the promise to “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case … your gift will be put to use right away to care for these dogs.” Yet HSUS was not caring for the dogs and CEO Wayne Pacelle actually recommended that the dogs be “put down” (killed).

If you want specifics on how to help animals affected by the Oklahoma tornado, HuffPo has posted a list of places that you can give to and descriptions of what each group is doing. Here are some examples:

Oklahoma City Animal Shelter: If you would like to donate for the animals, contact Cathryn English with the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. It needs food, blankets, and towels right now, but it is best to call and ask first. Call (405) 297-3100 or (405) 297-3088.

Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City: This nonprofit is accepting food donations and offering dog food, cat food, leashes, collars, food bowls and other supplies to those in need. Call (405) 664-2858.

Central Oklahoma Humane Society is in need of towels, paper towels, gloves and food for volunteers. Donations can be dropped off at either 5420 N. Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, or 2905 70th St. NW, Oklahoma City, OK. Visit its website to make a donation to its disaster relief fund.

As for HSUS, we want to see a full accounting of the money it’s pulling in off of the Oklahoma disaster. But that would require honesty—something the organization has too often lacked in the past.

[Update: Some readers have asked about larger, national groups. The Oklahoman reports that the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Canine Support and Relief Fund is helping pet owners and shelters.]