Posts Tagged ‘floods’

From the Gala to the Floods

We had a marvelous Rescue Me Gala last Saturday night and raised quite a bit of money for our Disaster Rescue Fund, which helps animals displaced by floods, hurricanes and other natural calamities, as well as victims of large-scale cruelty cases. I’d like to thank everyone who came out to support this extremely important work. It didn’t take long before we were called to put those funds to good use.

At 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, five League employees gathered at the shelter and flew out to Sikeston, Missouri, which is still being deluged with rain. The ASPCA asked for their help in setting up an emergency shelter for animal victims of the floods.  Late last night, I got the following report from one of them, adoptions director Jamie Scotto.

The Humane Society of Missouri is running the disaster response and doing a great job.  They initially thought that the situation wouldn’t be so bad.  They set up an emergency animal shelter in a garage, but that quickly filled up with animals so a second temporary shelter was added in the outdoor stalls on the rodeo grounds. When it started raining again, they moved inside a small building, also at the rodeo grounds.  But a steady stream of homeless animals— dogs, cats, rabbits, geese, chickens and sheep—kept arriving today. Some were turned in by people who were themselves homeless; others were found roaming the streets on their own. And again, the shelter quickly filled up.

We were helping there as best we could, when we heard some ominous news: to save the town of Cairo from the rising waters in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed opening a levee about 30 minutes from here. According to incident commander Brian Williams, the river in that area was at 61′ and was expected to go to 63’—the previous record was 59′. The opening of the levee would flood as many as 130,000 acres here in southeastern Missouri, and it would displace many more animals.

In anticipation, the Humane Society of Missouri is working on acquiring a new location for a bigger shelter about two miles away from the current one. If they are able to get permission to use this building, our crew will be setting up that shelter tomorrow. They hope that 4H volunteers will be available to transport the animals currently under our care.

Since Jamie filed this report, I understand that the Army Corps of Engineers did breach the levee and that the Humane Society of Missouri got permission to use the new building.  I’ll post more information here tomorrow.