Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Helping animals after Ike

It appears that the 2008 disaster season will never end. Just two weeks after Hurricane Gustav displaced thousands of people and pets in Louisiana, Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the Texas coast. On September 18, United Animal Nations began deploying a team of Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers to Beaumont, Texas to help shelter dogs, cats and other pets displaced by the large and damaging Ike.

More than 30 EARS volunteers from across the Gulf Coast have already deployed to the Humane Society of Southeast Texas in Beaumont to care for more than 200 animals who were rescued from flooded communities until they can be reunited with their families or transferred to other facilities for long-term sheltering. Wah Wong, pictured above, of Houston was one of the first EARS volunteers to arrive in Beaumont and said that the animals "are all very sweet and loving despite the traumas of their experiences ..."

As of Saturday, the shelter had 150 dogs, 82 cats, 7 guinea pigs, 2 swans, 2 ferrets, 1 horse and 1 fish. Pictured here with EARS volunteer Lyle Varnes and a Humane Society of the United States representative is an emaciated, four-month-old pony who was rescued.

EARS volunteers are doing their very best to care the animals despite living and working in primitive conditions. For example, the shelter has electricity and running water, but no showers, beds or cots. Someone jerry-rigged a shower in one of the dog kennels, but on last report a sweet bull mastiff was living in it. A group from a local church has been donating home-made food to the EARS crew and providing sleeping and showering arrangements.

Please check back periodically for more photos and updates. You can also support our efforts in Beaumont by donating to our Disaster Relief Fund.

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