Noah's Wish

Saving Animals in Disasters

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March 2009 - Rescue

The Missouri team was able to wrap up and roll out on Saturday afternoon, just as the snow was starting to fall. All but 7 of the approximately 200 dogs at the kennel were captured and placed in crates for transport to rescues. The 7 dogs that remain on the property were very frightened, which is understandable as they had just gone through a fire on Tuesday afternoon, with all of the accompanying excitement–lights, sirens, lots of noise and people–followed by the arrival of a number of strangers and the removal of most of their companions. The dogs remained at the edges of the property, hiding in the woods and running away if they were approached. They also showed no interest in the food placed in traps around the property. Under the circumstances it was determined that additional attempts to capture them would just add to the stress and further traumatize the dogs. We left food and water and the Missouri Department of Agriculture will monitor the dogs and try to trap them once they have had some time to calm down. Most of the dogs on the property were friendly, as you can see from the photos, and in spite of the recent trauma they were relatively easy to capture and handle.

The Missouri team was able to wrap up and roll out on Saturday afternoon, just as the snow was starting to fall. All but 7 of the approximately 200 dogs at the kennel were captured and placed in crates for transport to rescues. The 7 dogs that remain on the property were very frightened, which is understandable as they had just gone through a fire on Tuesday afternoon, with all of the accompanying excitement–lights, sirens, lots of noise and people–followed by the arrival of a number of strangers and the removal of most of their companions. The dogs remained at the edges of the property, hiding in the woods and running away if they were approached. They also showed no interest in the food placed in traps around the property. Under the circumstances it was determined that additional attempts to capture them would just add to the stress and further traumatize the dogs. We left food and water and the Missouri Department of Agriculture will monitor the dogs and try to trap them once they have had some time to calm down. Most of the dogs on the property were friendly, as you can see from the photos, and in spite of the recent trauma they were relatively easy to capture and handle.

This was a different kind of response for Noah’s Wish. All of the animals were already on the premises, and all had the same owner, so there was no need to do detailed intake paperwork or to make any attempt to locate families to reunify the animals with their owners.

The trauma from this disaster was probably similar for the animals to that of any natural disaster, but the responders had to process and cope with the fact that this was an avoidable situation, from having too many animals on the premises to the fire that destroyed the buildings; this was truly a man-made disaster. Since the animals were all free to go, and since rescues were ready and waiting, this was also a very abbreviated sheltering operation. It was much more of an assembly-line process, moving them in and out, with little time to get to know the animals in our care. The benefit to the animals is immeasurable, in a very short period of time they have been moved from a dire situation to one where they will receive individual care and attention, and hopefully they will all move on to new families very soon.

We would like to say a very special “Thank You!” to our incredibly hard working team. We would also like to thank the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Best Friends, it was a pleasure working with them!