The Petfinder Foundation purchased an animal-rescue truck for our partners at the International Fund for Animal Welfare to save animals in disaster-afflicted regions. The truck is now on its way to the Northeast from Bay St. Louis, MS, transporting adoptable pets from the Hancock County Humane Society to make room for pets whose families had to evacuate the area. (Read our previous post.)
This blog post, by IFAW animal welfare program officer for disaster response Jennifer Gardner, was originally published on ifaw.org (see the original post). Used with permission.
Last night we stopped in Greenville, Alabama to rest for the night.
We took the dogs out of our wonderful 36-foot rescue trailer funded by the Petfinder Foundation and all the dogs went for walks and were doing really well after such an eventful day!
Earlier, we left the Hancock County Humane Society (HCHS) after staff and volunteers wished the dogs well on their journey up north.
We loaded 29 dogs and headed to Coast Veterinary Hospital in Gulfport, MS, where Dr. Jackie Broome and her staff quickly went to work spaying or neutering some of the dogs and preparing all of their health certificates for travel.
Before leaving the hospital, Steve, our driver for our rescue rig, fell for a one-eyed kitten and adopted him! He will be traveling with us so he can join his new family in Massachusetts that includes three feline brothers and sisters.
The folks I spoke with in Mississippi all seemed to tell a similar story of how Hurricane Katrina devastated their community, and while there was a coincidence of Hurricane Isaac making landfall on the same date seven years later, they didn’t think its impact would be as great as a Category 1.
No one expected Isaac to stick around for so long and they were surprised at the amount of rainfall. Luckily the new shelter director of HCHS, Toni Necaise, moved the animals out of the shelter before the storm hit as she knew the area was flood-prone.
She made the right choice because, while the shelter didn’t flood, the road to the shelter did. They would not have been able to access the shelter to care for the animals until the water subsided.
Toni only joined HCHS three months ago and I was impressed by her preparedness.
I am so grateful for the rescue groups that allowed us to leave HCHS knowing that the facility was back to normal and they are better prepared for the storm’s aftermath.
All of the dogs are quietly resting as we make our way to the Washington Animal Rescue League in D.C. for our first drop-off.
Thanks to all for the kind words and donations — they keep us going!