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September 1, 2011

Rescue Team Serves North Carolina Community Hard-Hit by Irene

HSUS team offers food and water and advises residents of our local hurricane relief pet shelter

  • The Animal Rescue Team spotted a forlorn beagle under a fallen tree. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

  • Staff carried the beagle safely to shelter and will care for him until his family is ready to bring him home. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

  • The Animal Rescue Team provided comfort and a dish of fresh water to another dog stranded by the storm. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

by Michael Sharp

Members of the HSUS Animal Rescue Team began Wednesday parked on an empty cul-de-sac at Fulford Point, a northern tip of North Carolina's Pamlico County, close to where Goose Creek meets the Pamlico River.

There, they stopped to assemble dog and cat crates, before slowly working their way south through some of the harder-hit areas of this coastal county—knocking on doors, asking if residents needed food or fresh water for their animals, and leaving fliers about The HSUS's free hurricane relief pet shelter.

“What we just tried to accomplish [Wednesday] was going door-to-door to see how these people were responding and what kind of needs we could help them with,” said Rowdy Shaw, senior field responder.

Want to Help? Text LOVE to 20222 to donate $10 to support our Animal Rescue Team, currently working to help pets affected by Hurricane Irene.

“We were really hoping that we’d be able to help and take stress off people by setting up a temporary shelter to hold their animals for them—so that way they could focus more on themselves, like the house, their car.”

All told, The HSUS and Pamlico County Animal Control took in 16 more animals—12 dogs and four cats—to the emergency shelter. Responders also delivered dog food to pet owners like Beverly Brousard, who was working hard to dry potentially salvageable items from her home.

Helping hands during recovery

With her 3-year-old beagle Link lying on his stomach beside her, Brousard said it was “unbelievable” how many people from outside the county have helped in the days since Hurricane Irene. “But in the same note,” she added, “whenever something happens somewhere else, this community tries to pull together and help. It might not be a lot, but we try to help others all over the state, too.”

Located at the Craven County Fairgrounds, the emergency shelter opened again to take in animals from the public Thursday morning, as the rescue team continued assessing the remainder of Pamlico County.

Get more video, images, and updates on our Hurricane Irene response »

Michael Sharp is assistant managing editor for The HSUS's All Animals magazine.

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