Hurricane Updates

Irma Update: 9/7/17

As Hurricane Irma continues its path towards Florida, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the below contact information and resources.  The latest information on Irma’s path is available on the National Hurricane Center’s site here:

Please remember that disasters begin and end locally! If you have an animal welfare need in the wake of Irma you will need to request assistance through your county emergency manager. A list of emergency managers by county, with county websites and phone numbers, is available here:; this information is also available in map form.   The state of Florida has already activated the  group responsible for assisting with animal welfare needs throughout disasters in the statewide Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), and requests for assistance made to county EOCs will be elevated to the state level as needed.

Anyone needing assistance with a captive wildlife issue can also reach out to their Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) captive wildlife investigator. Investigators have already been reaching out to coastal areas on the eastern side of the state and offering  assistance to facilities who need it.  If you do not have direct contact information available  you can call the main FWC Captive Wildlife Office at 850-488-6523.

Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulated facilities in south Florida have already been contacted by their inspector to assess status ahead of impact; these facilities have been instructed to communicate needs and report on the status and safety of staff and animals by calling or texting  the designated 24/7 telephone number:  919.923.0573.  

We are closely monitoring this event, and welcome you to contact us if you have any questions or feel we may otherwise be of assistance to you at this time.  If you are planning to assist an impacted facility or would like to offer assistance, that information can be sent to ZAHP Fusion Center staff :  Ashley Zielinski, Yvonne Nadler, and Steve Olson. This information will be recorded to minimize duplication of efforts should an animal welfare need arise.

Additional Resources:

Stay safe everyone!

Harvey Update 8/28/17 

I’m sure you recognize that the flooding in Texas is unprecedented; an 800-year flood.

First responders are focusing on human needs, and while many of you in the path have prepared and have so far weathered this storm, unmet needs are just now being recognized for animals in disasters.  A huge shout out to those who have already stepped up to assist facilities in need.  Locals helping locals, that is the quickest way to get things done.

The ZAHP Fusion Center has been asked by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC )to assist on a task force to assist with all animal issues.  The task force includes the TAHC, ESF 11, NGOs, etc with a great boots-on-the-ground AC inspector Dr. Elizabeth Pannill. I would ask the following from this community:

  • If you have or know of ANY unmet needs, are potentially able to help with equipment or service, or have already assisted a facility and have details that should be communicated to the TAHC please call the TAHC’s Animal Response Operation Coordination Center (AROCC) hotline:  (512)-719-0799.
  • Information, questions, and concerns can also be sent to ZAHP Fusion Center staff:  Ashley Zielinski ([email protected]) and Steve Olson ([email protected]).  We need to assist with coordination to prevent duplication of efforts, wasted resources, etc.  This will make sure we get pertinent information to TAHC task force.
  • AVMA member veterinarians who have provided emergency veterinary medical care and temporary boarding to animal victims of disasters are eligible to apply for reimbursement grants on the AVMF website at: