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How To Lend A Paw To Oklahoma

May 29, 2013 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
I can't even fathom what it's like to experience a tornado, let alone a storm so horrific it leaves me standing amidst the rubble of my home and town in only the clothes on my back -- even, more incomprehensible, not being able to find my precious pets.

It's been a week since the catastrophic EF-4 tornado made it's destructive 2 mile wide, 22 miles long path through Oklahoma.

With more than 10,000 people directly affected, 2,400 homes destroyed, and 24 lives lost, the ASPCA conservatively estimates that 7,000 dogs, cats and horses have been injured or displaced as a result of these storms and are in need of emergency assistance and medical care.

While response efforts began to trickle into the affected areas within hours, many organizations were unable to safely enter for more than a day leaving people without any resources.

Now, eight days after the storm, dozens of rescue groups have arrived from across the country including mobile animal rescue organizations who have made their way into the affected areas to help locate the misplaced and injured pets -- so many separated from their owners.

While other news stories have started to steal the daily spotlight, the 10,000 people affected by the deadly Oklahoma tornado are just now starting to pick up the pieces - literally - of their lives.

It's 1,205 miles from my town to Moore, OK. When a disaster like this strikes, it's frustrating to know what to do to help.

The quickest way and easiest way to make an impact is to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also make a donation via their website, by calling 1 (800) REDCROSS.

You can also contribute to the Salvation Army by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769), online on their website, by texting "STORM" to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation.

Even if you're miles away or tight on funds, there are many ways to lend a hand.

You can give blood, take, teach or host lifesaving classes, volunteer, fundraise for the Red Cross or another rescue organization, or simply be an advocate to raise awareness among your circle of family and friends for those in need.

There are also now dozens of Facebook sites you can visit to assist rescue efforts, including: - Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City - Animal Resource Center - The Edmond Sun Found Pets - OKC Lost Pets - Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals - Oklahoma Animal Lost and Found Tornado Group

Spread the word. Together, we can help.

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