Current Research

Doctor of Philosophy
University of Otago


Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, emergency planners have started to realise the importance of including animals in emergency plans and evacuations. Forty four percent of those who chose to say behind during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation did so, in part, because there were unable to take their pets. US law makers passed the Pet Emergency and Transportation Act in 2006 to address the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. Though there has been a reasonable amount of research into the new discipline of animal emergency management in the US and Australia, New Zealand has very little empirical studies to learn from. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive study within a New Zealand context through using the Edgecumbe 2017 flood as a case study as due to the high numbers of animals left behind during the evacuation of the township’s population of approximately 1,600 people, over 1,000 animals were rescued in the following days making it the largest animal rescue in NZ history. This study proposes to conduct an online survey and semi-structured interviews with residents in Edgecumbe affected by the 2017 floods and those who responded to the disaster respectively, to document their experiences with specific regard to companion animal welfare and to establish positive and negative observations that may evaluate and improve emergency management practices and laws with respect to animals and those responsible for animals.

University of Otago Human Ethics Committee approval #18-050.

Supervisors: Dr Mike King, and Mr Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere.

Other Research

Visit my ORCID and ResearchGate profiles for a list of previous research outputs.