Thursday, September 18, 2008

PETS 911, PetPoint, Houston SPCA Responding to Hurricane Ike

In the wake of Hurricane Ike, the areas around Galveston and Austin, Texas have suffered notable damage—and with that families have been separated from their pets. The Houston SPCA has set up a Disaster Hotline in response to this sudden crisis:

The Houston SPCA has activated its Animal Response Hotline. Operators will be accepting lost and found animal reports, rescue reports and offering other animal related information. The hotline will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call notes are available so those who call in after hours may leave a message which will be returned first thing in the morning.

The number is 713-435-2990.

In addition, PETS 911 and PetPoint have banded together to take information from the Hotline to create the Disaster Response Pet Portal. PetPoint software is being used by Houston SPCA to input information about pet intakes from the disaster areas and that information is synchronized with PETS 911 lost & found listings.

PETS 911 & PetPoint Present

the Disaster Response Pet Portal

This project represents an amazing synergy of programming and data sharing between multiple sectors of the animal welfare community. And, I have to say, I’m rather proud of how well it has come together. I have spent the last two days working on this project trying to get it to work as it should and now we have something people can use.

The database is still in the initial stages, but reports are already flowing in. Last check there were 340 reports—a number rising by almost 40 reports an hour.

If you know anyone who has lost a pet in that region they might want to go check out the database to see if their pet has been picked up. The Hotline (713-435-2990) can also be used to report a pet lost in the region. All reports can be searched on PETS 911 Lost & Found.

More as this develops.

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