GAIN evacuates shelter; seeks storm fosters

Animal rights advocate Cyrus Luhr (PNC file photo)

Guam Animals In Need (GAIN) is evacuating its animal shelter following a tropical storm warning issued today. Damaging winds of 39-57 mph are expected within 48 hours.

GAIN is asking for volunteers willing to take in a shelter pet for the duration of the storm, and potentially through the holiday weekend. “Storms are stressful for animals. We’re seeking volunteers to provide a warm and safe space for a shelter pet during this storm,” said GAIN Volunteer Coordinator, Cece Lara.

Those willing to volunteer can stop by GAIN today before 5pm to pick up an animal. Please call 653-4246, or visit the GAIN Facebook page, for up-to-date information on the evacuation.

GAIN reminds everyone that storms are dangerous for animals, both owned and unowned. “We’re evacuating the animal shelter thanks to the help of our Storm Fosters,” said GAIN Foster Coordinator, Sasha Coleman. “Foster homes help us provide shelter pets with added protection during storms,” she added.

Guam law requires that pets have proper shelter. This means that during a storm, owned dogs and cats need to be safely secured indoors. “Don’t leave your cat outside or dog tied to a tree during a storm,” said Arleen Decastro, GAIN’s Lead Animal Caretaker, “their safety depends on you.”

GAIN also recommends preparing a Pet Typhoon Kit with the following:

* Pet food for a few weeks;
* Comforting items like blankets and toys, for when the storm becomes frightening;
* Your pet’s medication and medical records, if applicable;
* Ensure collars and tags are securely fastened. Have a leash or carrier on hand, if you need to evacuate; and
* Recent photo of yourself with your pet (in case they get lost and you have to prove ownership).

If you are unable to care for your animal during the storm, it is important to reach out now to family and friends. Ask them to protect your pet for the worst 24-48 hours of the storm.

“Please bring your pets indoors during the storm,” said Cyrus Luhr, GAIN Board President. “It’s not just the law, it’s also the right thing to do,” he added.