Lance McCullers hosts pet disaster preparedness event
Thursday was a great day for Astros fans and pet owners as one World Series champion partnered up with a non-profit to help pet owners know what to do to prepare for their pets in a disaster situation.
Thursday at Discovery Green, McCullers partnered with the Lucy Pet Foundation, a non-profit aiming to help the prevention of euthanasia, stating that 60,000 healthy animals per week are euthanized in the United States. The Foundation set up a booth with the Astros pitcher to educate pet owners about disaster preparedness when it comes to pets.
"Less than 3% of pet owners are prepared for their disasters with their pet, and can you imagine being stuck at your house with no food or water and you're there for a week because crews can't get to you?" said the foundation's Chief Veterinary Officer Karen "Doc" Halligan.
The booth offered the first 50 owners free microchips for their animals in hopes to help them stay connected after disasters. The booth also had CPR demonstrations as well as a check sheet on what owners can do before the hurricane season in June.
"They are more than just a dog. They are also part of the family, so it's really important to keep track of them, know where they are and make sure I'm prepared for the hurricane season," said dog owner Melissa Alejandro.
She had her 9-week-old German shepherd, Dexter, microchipped at the event.
"It is really important. I had a pet that I lost a couple years ago to one of the hurricanes and he didn't have a chip - and it was really difficult, and knowing that they were going to be doing this today, I had to take advantage of the opportunity," said Alejandro.
Alejandro also took advantage of the checklist the foundation provided.
Checklist link: http://www.lucypetfoundation.org/no-pet-left-behind/
Some of the tasks included learning CPR, updating collar tag information, taking pictures with your pet for records and creating a disaster kit.
"Prepare a week's worth of water and food. You have to have any medications for your pet, get them from your vet now and stock up. Put it all together," Halligan said.
McCullers is also working with Lucy Pet Foundation to fundraise $150,000 to bring a spay and neuter van to Houston, one that could act as a rescue vehicle during hurricanes.
"I remember when Harvey hit, and my wife was home and she had the dogs and I was scared to death. What she was going to do--if she had an issue. We didn't have a plan. We were not prepared. Part of our mission is to spread education on the process behind spay and neutering--the process behind making sure you're prepared," McCullers said.
For Astros fan Nicole Valverde, who barely survived Harvey and lost her first pet after being rescued, this event meant a lot.
"I'm here to see my Astros player - That's what make me happy and upbeat," said Valverde.
For more information on how you can help or donate: http://www.lucypetfoundation.org
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