May 10, 2011
Field Notes: Nighttime Rescue and Aid; Shelter Prepares
Rescue operations continue with reports of animals still in damaged/destroyed homes; PetSmart Charities donates supplies; MIssissippi shelter prepares
Operations continued in Tuscaloosa with NDART responders from Miami and Birmingham responding to reports of animals still in damaged/destroyed homes, or tethered in yards with no food and water. We are also doing follow-up checks on animals to determine whether they have been abandoned or if the owners are returning to provide care. HSUS responders have now searched the entire length of the path of the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa on April 27.
HSUS responders operated the Metro Animal Services Center facility in Tuscaloosa to give the regular workers a break. Operations director Connie Brooks and HSUS Alabama state director Mindy Gilbert will meet with the shelter director to determine the holding period for the displaced animals before they can be put up for adoption.
Night operations are continuing. Traps just arrived, and our teams have determined the primary targets for intensive trapping. Just across from our primary staging area is the destroyed home of an elderly woman who is looking for her two cats. We have seen her black cat for several days in a row, and saw her black and white cat for the first time last night. We hope to return the cats to her safe and sound.
We continue to assist the ASPCA in providing care to more than 500 animals in Missouri. Monday's operations included animal care, field operations, and intake. A few puppies were diagnosed with parvovirus. They came from a shelter that flooded and we had to rearrange the shelter to ensure the health of all the animals.
We anticipate that this mission may need to continue until at least the second week of May. Numerous owners have picked up their animals after finding a safe place to stay or returning to their homes.
HSUS staff and United Animal Nations arrived in Natchez, Miss., at the request of the Adams County Sheriff's office to help with animals displaced because of the massive flooding.
The HSUS Animal Rescue Team arrived at the temporary shelter yesterday afternoon and purchased food for responders, cleaning supplies, and other necessities for organizing. PetSmart Charities arrived yesterday evening and their cages and supplies were unloaded promptly. Rowdy Shaw of the HSUS arrived with dry suits and a generator. In the morning we will use prisoners to help set up crates and cages. Perry Stone will drive the rig to the temporary shelter. The main area of the shelter can hold roughly 200-300 animals, and we also have the adjoining building available. The local staff is very happy to have us and excited about getting the PetSmart supplies.