As Memphis continues to see the Mississippi River crest at historic levels, residents could be dealing with high water levels into June. Of course, natural disasters don’t only effect the people living in the area but also the pets.
American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team has been hard at work rescuing animals and helping pet owners during this disaster. American Humane Association staff and volunteers deployed to Shelby County, Tenn. with a convoy of support vehicles, including a 16-wheel, 82-foot-long Rescue Rig; a four-wheel-drive pickup truck; and a horse trailer! They are also providing important emotional support to the human victims as well. Most disaster shelters will not allow people to bring their pets with them. At American Humane’s temporary shelter, pet owners are allowed to visit their pets and when they are able to move out of shelters, families and pets are reunited.
Just one of many stories from the rescue efforts: American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team was returning from a mission assignment when they saw a man and woman near the road in a flooded area. They pulled over to find the woman in tears and found that the couple had 2 dogs that were stranded by the flooding and they didn’t know what they were going to do to get them out. The team offered their help and with the permission of the two owners went into the area, located the dogs and brought them to dry land. The couple was then amazed and grateful to find out that there was also an emergency animal shelter that they could comfortably settle the dogs into while they dealt with the flooding of their home. This morning the two dogs are dry, fed and sleeping for the first time in several days. And their once tearful and desperate owners are free from anxiety and worry about their beloved pets also for the first time in days.
Close to 200 animals are already receiving care in a fully-equipped emergency shelter that can house 1,000 animals. Volunteers are stationed at the human Red Cross Shelters to facilitate the intake of pets from evacuated families. There have been rescues of dogs, cats and even a guinea pig! As of May 9th, these are the current numbers:
15 — Red Star team members on site in Federal Disaster Area of Shelby County, Tenn.
3 — American Humane Association emergency vehicles sent to Tennessee — including 82-foot-long tractor-trailer Rescue Rig
40 — Animals rescued by Red Star from storms and flooding in Memphis area
174 — Cats and dogs in the competent care of Red Star until they can be reunited with their families
1,000 — Animal capacity of American Humane Association’s temporary animal shelter in Memphis
To learn more about American Humane Association’s work in Memphis, and to keep up with their ongoing rescue efforts, please visit the American Humane Association website.
Photo provided by American Humane Association.