Emergency Rescue Team’s Lifesaving Journey to Aid Partner Shelters
As the Florida Panhandle recovers from the devastation caused by the record-breaking winds and flooding of Hurricane Michael, our Emergency Rescue Team headed south – equipped with a Mobile Rescue Unit stocked with food, water, litter, and essential supplies to aid the people and animals left in the storm’s unforgiving wake. One week later, that same climate-controlled mobile unit returned to our no-kill campus filled with more than 50 deserving dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens who were all lucky enough to make it through the unforgiving storm.
The first stop for the Rescue Team during its lifesaving trip was at Pensacola Humane Society to drop off essential supplies that will prove invaluable during the recovery process. Their organization escaped the storm with minimal damage to their building and were able to move most of the animals out of harm’s way, however they were in desperate need of supplies and fresh water. Darra Flanagan, Events Coordinator at PHS, said other shelters and rescue groups in the surrounding areas were not as fortunate.
“Escambia County Animal Services and Humane Society of Bay County are just two off the top of my head who are still without electricity, phone and internet access. They are in desperate need of help,” she said. “We certainly need the help, but so many people and animals are still suffering. We can all use a helping hand during times like this.”
The next stop on their lifesaving journey south was at Tallahassee Animal Services, where they too were in desperate need of our help. With their shelter nearing maximum capacity, they asked if we could take some of their animals in order to make room for others who were separated from their families and left outside during the storm. Although their organization was fortunate enough to have other local rescue groups take all of their dogs before the storm touched down, they were still providing care for 25 felines who had nowhere else to go. All of those lucky cats and kittens, ranging from three to six month of age, were carefully placed aboard our mobile unit and transported to the safety of our Adoption Center in Port Washington, N.Y.
Please help us continue our rescue relief efforts with a donation today.
“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing as we drove through Tallahassee,” said Karla Agostinello, Rescue Coordinator at Animal League America. She and Rescue Driver/Associate, Ted Moriates are the senior members of the crew handling this vital rescue mission. “It looked like a war zone. Houses destroyed and trees down all over; it looked like a tornado had swept through the area, destroying everything in its path. We were truly shocked and saddened to see how badly everyone in this area was suffering.”
After exhausting most of our resources and providing as much assistance as we could in Florida, our Rescue Team made one final stop at Lakeside Animal Rescue in South Carolina before heading back to New York. Their shelter in Orangeburg was still inundated with homeless animals from Hurricane Florence, and suffered even more damage when Hurricane Michael struck. They asked if we had the space for 25 more puppies and dogs, including an 8-month-old Pittie mix named Brodie, who was suffering from a broken leg and severe case of demodectic mange.
“Look at that adorable face on him. How can you not fall in love?” Karla said. “We are going to get him back to our Pet Health Centers and get him all healed up. He doesn’t have to worry anymore. He’s safe now.”
Now in the nurturing care of our shelter team and veterinary staff, all 50 of these animals will receive everything they need to be ready for the day when they can find responsible, loving homes to call their own. Any animals like Brodie, who will need extensive medical care before being deemed ready for adoption, will be provided with the 24-hour, individualized care they need to make a complete recovery. Our goal is to ensure that every dog, cat, puppy, and kitten on this lifesaving transport not only feels cherished during their time with us, but for the rest of their lives in the arms of adopters who adore them.
More Ways to Help Our Shelter Partners
Many of our partner shelters have been dealing with the aftermath caused by the recent Hurricanes Michael and Florence, including rescuing and taking in animals that found themselves displaced from their loved ones. Below is a listing of shelters that can use your support. Some have Amazon Wishlists where you can order items and send supplies directly to the areas in need.