Organizations take steps to protect pets and humans during natural disasters


Zoetis Inc and the Zoetis Foundation partner with American Humane and American Red Cross, respectively, to provide natural disaster preparedness and relief

Photo: callmeers/Adobe Stock

Photo: callmeers/Adobe Stock

Natural disasters can have devastating consequences on animals. To address the challenges posed by these disasters and support animal health, Zoetis Inc, an animal health company, is continuing its yearslong partnership with American Humane. The partnership’s objective is to strengthen disaster preparedness and aid in keeping animals safe during emergencies. This month, Zoetis and American Humane will be collaborating on an inaugural public-giving campaign this month to raise additional funds. Moreover, the Zoetis Foundation, funded by Zoetis Inc, is offering the American Red Cross a $3 million grant to help provide emergency readiness and disaster relief to affected families and communities.1

“As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis has long been dedicated to advancing disaster preparedness and providing care for communities and animals impacted by disasters,” Jeannette Ferran Astorga, president of the Zoetis Foundation and executive vice president of corporate affairs, communications and sustainability at Zoetis said in a news release.1 "Building on that legacy, the Zoetis Foundation is pleased to bolster grant support to the American Red Cross through the ADGP, alongside Zoetis Inc’s long-standing collaboration with American Humane to support disaster response efforts and provide critical aid."

Protecting animals in the United States

Since 2012, Zoetis and American Humane have been collaborating to not only protect animals in areas affected by these disasters but promote improved readiness practices among pet owners nationwide. According to the Zoetis Foundation, nearly 25% of pet owners would resist mandatory evacuation orders to avoid leaving their pets behind during a natural disaster,1 which highlights the importance of disaster preparedness education.

Zoetis and American Humane’s partnership culminates in their pet preparedness clinics located in regions with a high risk of natural disasters. The two organizations host these clinics to educate pet-owning families about effective strategies for preparing for disasters. After a natural disaster event, American Humane also operates emergency vehicles with Zoetis pet medications.1

Additionally, this month, Zoetis is matching up to $50,000 in campaign contributions to help American Humane’s mission of protecting animals during natural disasters, which means donations will be worth double their amount.1

“Since 1877, American Humane has been dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all animals, and we are grateful to Zoetis for being an invaluable partner in this mission,” Robin Ganzert, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of American Humane, said in the news release.1 “Zoetis’ support enables us to expand the critical services we provide, especially helping animals during times of crisis, and getting them the care that they need.”

Helping humans across the globe

The $3 million grant from the Zoetis Foundation to the American Red Cross, to be provided in 2024, will be utilized over the course of 6 years through the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP).1 The ADGP, made up of 90% volunteers, works to provide shelter, emotional support, hot meals, and resources to aid in recovery to people in times of disaster.2 Zoetis Foundation’s $3 million grant will be equally divided between domestic and international aid to help the Red Cross provide the infrastructure, volunteers, technology, and resources that are needed to deliver relief during crises. This support will also aid in preparing communities worldwide for future disasters.

“We are so very grateful to the Zoetis Foundation for their generous commitment to our lifesaving mission in advance of disasters both big and small,” Anne McKeough, chief development officer at the American Red Cross said in the release.1 “As families and communities struggle to cope with more frequent and intense weather events, forward-thinking ADGP members like the Zoetis Foundation enable us to prepare for disasters and offer vital assistance, making a profound impact on those facing adversity.”

The impact of natural disasters on animals and people

2021 data from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed that 83% of pet owners live in a community at risk of natural disasters. Moreover, 90% of pet owners said they would evacuate with their pet, but only 46% have preparedness plans.3 According to Zoetis, tornados, hurricanes, and other natural disasters can leave pets displaced and/or injured, requiring reunification, protection, rescue, and essential survival needs such as food, shelter, and medical care.

“The annual number of extreme weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each has increased by 85% over the past decade, underscoring the urgent need to help response efforts," said Astorga.1


  1. Zoetis Foundation and Zoetis deepen commitment to global disaster relief with American Red Cross and American Humane. News release. Zoetis Inc. June 26, 2024. Accessed June 26, 2024.
  2. Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder Program. American Red Cross. Accessed June 26, 2024.
  3. ASPCA survey shows 83% of pet owners are impacted by disasters, fewer than half have preparedness plans. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. September 22, 2021. Accessed June 26, 2024.
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