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LEAGUE TEAM HELPING ANIMAL VICTIMS OF MISSOURI FLOODS
May 05, 2011
Five employees of the Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) are in Sikeston, Missouri, where they are helping care for nearly 200 animals left homeless by the flooding of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. They arrived Monday, May 2, at the request of the ASPCA, which is coordinating the disaster rescue response for animals in that area.
When flooding first started displacing homeowners in southeastern Missouri, the local humane society set up an emergency shelter for their animals on the grounds of a rodeo, but that shelter quickly filled up and another, larger operation had to be set up.
The new emergency shelter is currently housing about 150 dogs, 30 cats, a sheep, and a few chickens and geese. Most of the animals have owners who plan on reclaiming their animals once they themselves have a place to stay. In the meantime, League staffers are providing basic animal care, and since two of them are veterinary technicians, treating the animals for respiratory infections and parasites.
Many of the dogs are farm dogs, who are not accustomed to being confined. Several members of the League team have particular experience in providing “enrichment” for sheltered dogs, and they have been kept busy assisting the dogs who are suffering most from the stress by giving them toys, treats, and training to help them pass the time more comfortably.
“Ever since Hurricane Katrina, the League has been helping animals suffering in the wake of disasters, and over the years, we have garnered a lot of experience in doing these large-scale rescues,” Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO, points out. “We are always happy to respond to situations like the Missouri floods. It’s gratifying to know that, with the help of our team, the animals will be well cared for and that their futures are secure.”
The team from the League expects to return to the Washington area Friday evening. They do not anticipate bringing back any animals for adoption because the majority of the dogs and cats have owners who plan on reclaiming their pets.
More information is at http://blog.warl.org.
Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/warl.