Friday, May 28, 2010

Doing our part to save lives

Submitted by EARS volunteer Debbie Ferguson of Kildeer, Illinois

Hello from Mason County, West Virginia, location of the latest UAN Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) deployment, where we are awaiting the arrival of 49 horses, mules and donkeys seized by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) yesterday. The volunteers arrived from six different states and even from Canada, at their own expense, to assist in the sheltering of these animals until permanent placement is found.

But even though it was what many would consider a “down” day, with no horses to care for, the volunteers all stayed very busy preparing for the arrival of the animals. They spent long hours toiling in the hot sun organizing and stocking the temporary shelter as well as rounding up supplies and working to get electricity to the barns. Volunteer Ronda Fraser, who came all the way from Kitchener, Ontario, spent a good deal of time sorting through medical supplies and organizing them in the medical supply room.

Angela Shields from Tidewater, Virginia operated the backhoe, hauling bedding for the other volunteers to load into wheelbarrows and deliver to the stalls. Dave Hall from Holly Springs, North Carolina was on a mission to find a generator to bring power to our shelter and I am happy to report that by day’s end, the generator was up and running, we had lights and the fans were running, considerably cooling the temporary shelter. After bedding was put down and water and feed buckets were placed in the stalls, the EARS volunteers finished organizing tools and supplies and retired for the evening, tired, but ready to take on the challenges that tomorrow will hold.

On a historical note, Mason County is the location of the “Silver Bridge” collapse that tragically killed 46 people in 1967, following the reported appearance of a large winged figure referred to as the Mothman, who was sighted by at least 100 people in the year leading up to the bridge disaster. Some believe that the Mothman was there to warn residents of the town of the disaster and may have saved many lives.

Well, we EARS volunteers are happy that we are here in Mason County, doing our part to save the lives of the animals we will be caring for tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Photos (top to bottom): UAN is in the house; Angela Shields of Portsmouth, Virginia and Joe Schuabuer of Cincinnati, Ohio wait for the backhoe to finish loading their wheelbarrows with sawdust for the stalls; Angela takes her backhoe job seriously; teamwork helps as Joe and Betty Harmon of Angier, North Carolina bring their wheelbarrows together for filling.

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