Friday, February 04, 2011

Cairo Pets

AFSA has started a new Facebook page for Foreign Affairs Friends of Animals Network. They have sent a couple of emails recently that about the pets of the folks evacuated from Cairo that I wanted to share with you. The second is the more important, because they are looking for your help. They are having a couple meetings for people here in DC who can help, especially those who are in a position to foster some pets.

Here is the first:

Colleagues –

Per the U.S.U.S. Embassy Egypt evacuation status, non-emergency Embassy personnel and families have been ordered to depart Egypt, and some 2,000 U.S. citizens and family members have been evacuated since January 31 – but evacuation flights are not able to accommodate pets. Meanwhile, reports have been trickling out about the paucity of pet options for evacuating USG staff and families – and indeed, for all US citizens.

We have established contact with animal welfare organizations in the U.S. and in Egypt, to evaluate what if anything we can do to assist U.S. pets and pet owners involved in the current evacuation.

Additionally, through AFSA, we have started a dialogue with the DOS Director General’s office, with the goal of developing an SOP for handling pets in future evacuations. We are looking at the model of the U.S. domestic Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006 – an Act passed and signed into law by President Bush in the aftermath of Katrina, in response to evidence that human lives were put at risk when people were ordered to evacuate without their pets.

Are you a pet owner who has been involved in the Egypt evacuation yourself, or do you have close contact with a pet owner who has been involved?

Do you have ideas about what our network might do to help U.S. pets and pet owners involved in the evacuation?

Do you have suggestions for the proposed SOP to cover handling pets in future evacuations?

The Foreign Affairs Friends of Animals Network can help advocate for better evacuation plans that incorporate elements of domestic legislation. We want to hear from you!

Here is the second:

The FLO has started a blog to gather detailed information about pets remaining in Cairo, and to coordinate their care and transport as appropriate. The URL is Escapecairo.blogspot.com.

While the FLO works on that end, they have asked AFSA and the Foreign Affairs Friends of Animals Network to help with contingency planning on the DC end. We don’t know how the situation will evolve in the coming days, but one scenario may possibly involve flying the pets to the DC area, in which case a network of volunteers would potentially be needed to provide short-term care for some of these cats and dogs.

Are you in the DC area and interested in lending a hand?
- Let us know if you can meet at the AFSA office, 2101 E Street NW in DC this Saturday or Sunday Feb. 5 or 6 at 2 pm.
- If you can’t come to a meeting this weekend, but are potentially available to provide short-term fostering in the DC area for a USG dog or cat, please let us know that too.

6 comments:

Jodi H said...

Thank you so much for posting this. We're not posted to DC right now, but we do have a dog and after the earthquake last year (we're in Santo Domingo) and the Cairo stuff now we just keeping thinking, "What would we do with Cosmo?!" Hopefully, this will lead to some much-needed organization on how to handle keeping families united with their pets. I am interested in watching the progress of this topic.

Digger said...

I have just always figured I would volunteer to be the one who stays behind to try to arrange for the pets to get out.

Whitney said...

thanks for the post. as a FSO with pets its a huge eye opener.

Jedi Diplomat said...

I have heard through the grapevine that Embassy Cairo is trying to do a flight for pets but they're in need of fosters. Is AFSA the contact I should be looking for or do have other contacts? My contact went radio silence, and I've been boosting the signal and have contacts of people that wanna help with fostering.

JediDiplomat

Digger said...

I'd get in touch with AFSA...they are doing a lot to arrange help and they do need fosters. There is a meeting at main State today at 10 am...I just posted the notice.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the Post, which I discovered after a friend I served with in Congo (where we were nearly evacuated) alerted me to the Facebook group. My husband, dog and I were posted to Cairo until May, so I have been wondering what we would have done. This issue is very important to me. In fact, I obtained what I call an "evacuation sized" dog as he is a carry-on and stands a better chance of getting out with me under current foreign service practice, but it should not have to be that way. All pets should be able to be evacuated.