May 19, 2011
Preparation Pays off as We Stay Afloat with Shelter Kittens
Field notes from Mississippi
Operations continue at the Natchez Adams County Humane Society as outlying areas continue to struggle with severe flooding. Seven surrendered puppies joined the shelter today, and we held a vaccination clinic for all the puppies and kittens.
Sara Varsa, director of operations for the Animal Rescue Team, has noticed a difference in community preparedness with this rescue. The toll in animal lives seems much smaller than in previous disasters.
"Our message saturation about disaster preparedness after hurricane Katrina really made a difference this time around," she said. "With the Mississippi flooding situation, many communities set up evacuation places for people and their pets."
Varsa noted that the sheriff in Adams County asked for HSUS assistance ahead of the flooding, so we were able to step in and set up an emergency shelter for scores of displaced pets. This way, new people can and do show up every day with their pets—pets who otherwise would have had no place to go but now can find safety and care at the shelter.
Although river water levels continue to fluctuate, thanks to good preparation we will soon be able to turn over the management of the emergency shelter to the local animal shelter staff.
Some people want what they want, when they want it. This also applies to the animal world when you are dealing with bottle-fed kittens. They are our most time-consuming residents, but also the most adorable babies in the world.
Staff and volunteers not only work ten-hour shifts at the shelter, but they also take the bottle-fed babies home to the hotel for around-the-clock care. We currently have 11 kittens that require bottle feeding. They are now receiving their bottles every four hours, and they started off with a bottle every two hours.
They are tiny, but surely know what they want and when they want it. They have excellent vocal cords and make sure to let us know that they are in fact in charge.
Bottle-feeding them isn’t a tough job. It is one of love, though, which we have plenty of here.