As evacuations and flood threats continue throughout Tennessee and Missouri, rescue organizations are coming to the aid of the four-legged victims of this severe flooding.
Since last week alone, the ASPCA has helped more than 1,000 animals affected by the disaster throughout the southern United States. In Shelby County, Tenn., the organization's disaster response team has been working with Memphis Animal Services and the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County to establish an emergency shelter to prepare for severe flooding. The emergency shelter will provide temporary housing for a large number of animals, where they will be cared for until they are reunited with their owners.
And more animal rescue groups are coming to the rescue. Agencies assisting on the ground include American Humane Association, Code 3, and International Fund for Animal Welfare. The Humane Society of the United States has also responded in Missouri with the ASPCA to assist with rescue and sheltering needs in areas with extraordinary flooding damage.
"Pets are members of the family, and we realize how stressful it can be to leave your pet behind," said Kathryn Destreza, Southeast director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. "It has been a challenging period for both people and pets in communities affected by the disaster."
Additionally, the ASPCA is partnering with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to establish a distribution center in Memphis, Tenn. where pet food, sheltering supplies, and crates can be distributed throughout the region to various local agencies in need.
Pet owners who need sheltering for their pets should go to the emergency shelter located at 1716 N. Shelby Oaks Drive in Memphis, Tenn. The ASPCA asks that pet owners bring vaccination records, carriers, leashes/collars, and instructions for pets with special needs.
In Missouri, volunteers are continuing to respond to emergency rescue requests and sheltering of approximately 200 animals displaced by flooding. The ASPCA transported nearly 60 animals from Caruthersville Humane Society in Caruthersville, Mo. to various rescue groups throughout Missouri and Kansas. The animals were permanently relocated to allow the local shelter the capacity to accept incoming animals. Agencies that quickly stepped forward to support the ASPCA's relief efforts include the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri (Springfield, Mo.), Wayside Waifs (Kansas City, Mo.), and Animal Haven (Merriam, Kan.).
The ASPCA assisted other communities in Arkansas and Kentucky with sheltering needs, transporting displaced animals to temporary shelters, conducting field assessments, and offering supplies such as pet food to residents in the community. All supplies were generously provided by PetSmart Charities.