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LEAGUE SAVES DOG, CAT VICTIMS OF ALABAMA TORNADOS
May 15, 2011
(Washington, DC) – The Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) is bringing 37 dogs and 5 cats from Alabama to its shelter in Northwest Washington today. The former pets were among about 350 lost and relinquished dogs and cats overwhelming the municipal animal shelter in Tuscaloosa, which suffered the worst damage from the tornados. That shelter normally holds between 40 and 50 animals.
Four League employees remain in Tuscaloosa, where they have been since Wednesday, operating two temporary shelters under large tents and an emergency animal hospital in a garage. Many of the dogs and cats they are caring for are suffering from disease—primarily parvovirus, respiratory infections, and mange—aside from losing their homes. Two of the shelter dogs died of disease on Saturday.
Some of the animals en route to Washington today have the same afflictions and were released by the Alabama State Veterinarian prior to the end of the normal stray hold period in order to get them to the League’s Medical Center for emergency treatment to save their lives. One of the League employees driving back with these animals in a new animal rescue vehicle is CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman, himself a veterinarian. He has been helping to oversee the care of sick animals at the Tuscaloosa shelter since his arrival there Saturday morning.
“No sooner had our team gotten back from helping animal flood victims in Missouri, than we got a call to help with the even worse situation in Alabama. Fortunately, we have a great deal of experience with disaster rescue work, something the League has been doing regularly since Hurricane Katrina,” Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO, says. “In this case, I would say that we arrived just in time for the animals we are bringing back. Many of them are very sick, and I don’t think they could have survived much longer without the kind of care we can give them at our Medical Center.”