Monday, August 31, 2009

Puppy mill rescue in Wilson, North Carolina

Submitted by Janell Matthies, UAN Emergency Services Manager

United Animal Nations (UAN) is now here in North Carolina, caring for and tracking animals originally from a puppy mill who had been dispersed throughout the state.

You can read more about the seizure in this news article or watch some news coverage from the temporary shelter.

Over the past three days we have taken in more than 200 dogs and transported about 180 of them out to shelters and rescue groups for foster care and adoption.

Many of the dogs come in for a brief stay, vet check, some photos and right out into rescue again. It’s been one of the strangest deployments. Dogs still came in tonight, and rescue groups are already lined up to take them out tomorrow. Our population has probably never topped 100 at any given time. This of course, gives UAN Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers time to raise the bar even higher when it comes to animal care and assistance to local law enforcement. The dogs are very comfy in their cages, with fresh water that is rapidly refilled every time they take a sip, clean cages, fans blowing on them (always on the dogs, while the volunteers are sweating buckets) and regular meals. We barely have time to get to know them before they go out again, which is actually a very good thing.

Even though this is a puppy mill deployment, it feels somewhat like a disaster response. The situation keeps changing, information comes from multiple directions and we are never quite sure what to expect. Par for the course for the trained UAN volunteers who are just rolling with it and dealing with every urgent situation that comes up. “We have 30 dogs arriving in ten minutes and they all need large crates!” “Wait, it’s only 10 dogs.” “Now it’s 17 dogs and 3 parrots!” Parrots? Where are we going to put parrots?? Okay, large crate, find some sticks for perches, air flow, cover with light sheet….ready for the parrots. “Oh, the parrots aren’t coming here, they went straight to rescue. Now we have 17 rabbits coming in.” Rabbits?? Where should we put rabbits?? Okay, small crates, newspaper, make a list for a PetSmart run…. “Rabbits aren’t coming here -- it’s too hot.” Phew, okay no rabbits. Then a truck pulls up and the driver tells us he has 17 rabbits. Ack! Finish putting up the small crates, get ice bags with towels in each crate…what do rabbits eat? Change the PetSmart list. Uh oh, the baby rabbits can squeeze through the cage bars. The resourceful volunteers quickly made cardboard barriers around the bottom so they couldn’t get out anymore. I hopped in the car to pick up rabbit supplies and a truck pulled in at the same time to take the rabbits to rabbit rescue. Phew, again.

And so it goes. Meanwhile our three calm, cool, collected and oh-so-organized volunteers Tereza Marks, Jasmine Holsinger and Catherine Fagan sat at the busy intake table following every move. Number 152 is going to row D, cage three and came from such- and-such address. Number 152 is now leaving with XYZ rescue…..and even cross checking it with an excel spreadsheet on the computer. I’ve seen daily operating shelters that are not this organized. Needless to say, the Wilson County Sheriff's Office is in awe of the abilities of the volunteers. They have said over and over, “We could never have done this without you.”

As always, we are all happy to be here, knowing these dogs who so desperately needed help are moving on to much brighter futures.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go EARS volunteers!!! A genuine model to admire and strive for! Huge Kudos from Texas. Christine McEntyre UAN/EARS Vol.


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