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May 22, 2011

Purrs, Puppy Kisses, and Tail Wags at Emergency Shelter

Field notes from the flood rescue in Mississippi and Missouri

Animal Rescue Team

  • Dogs at the Mississippi shelter get relief from the heat in baby pools. Darci Adams/HSUS

  • Rosco does not realize that he's a bit large for a lapdog. Darci Adams/HSUS

  • Rosco's family visits their pets at the shelter most days, happy for the care the animals receive. Tara Loller/HSUS

  • The HSUS has amassed five Animal Rescue Team staff and ten volunteers in Natchez, Miss., and Kennett, Mo. Darci Adams/HSUS

The HSUS continues to assist with animals displaced by flooding in Missouri and Mississippi. The Natchez, Miss., emergency shelter is now providing care for more than 90 animals, while the Missouri facility now shelters 57 pets.

The Animal Rescue Team's Michelle Cascio plans to arrive at the Natchez shelter on Monday to evaluate the dogs and arrange transfer out of state for as many animals as possible.

The ultimate goal with these deserving canines is to find permanent homes for all.

See a recent video of The Animal Rescue Team in action, and make a donation to help them continue.

In Missouri we are caring for 31 dogs, 25 cats, and one guinea pig.  Seven dogs went home with their owners, and 13 cats and 14 dogs were transported out of the shelter to prepare for placement in loving homes.

There is no I in "team"

Tara Loller sent this report from the emergency shelter in Natchez, Miss.

Disasters by definition are tragic and destructive. People and animals face so many uncertainties when they are experiencing a disaster. It is crucial that others who can help do help. This is where the Animal Rescue Team, both HSUS employees and our amazing volunteers, step in. We were asked into these communities that truly needed us and immediately felt so appreciated.

Our emergency shelter has brought peace of mind to families who come in with stories of their pets, what their pet likes, and usually a little funny story. We listen. We hug them as they entrust their beloved family member to us. When they visit, we sit with them to discuss their situation and tell them about their pet's latest belly rub or new toy. We receive praise and repeated thank-yous, yet all we are doing is what we know best: helping animals in need.

It is a team effort from morning to night, and we all count on each other. Varied backgrounds, ages, and experiences all unite to form one outstanding team. The best reward for The HSUS Animal Rescue Team will always be in the form of purrs, puppy kisses, and tail wags.

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