Thursday, March 20, 2008 – We received a call from the Humane Society of Missouri that assistance was needed in the very south eastern part of the state. The Caruthersville Humane Society a small community facility that normally held about 25 animals had doubled that do to flooding from the Mississippi River starting there. Kay flew into Denver with an hours notice, Kurt drove in to Longmont with just about the same notice, meeting with Jim and Goose by 5 PM. With the advance team assembled we jumped into BART and a second truck and started the long drive. We drove through the night stopping for just 3 hours of sleep arriving in Caruthersville Missouri late Friday.
Saturday, 3-22-08 – The team was met by a local Code 3 volunteer Brett Huff and set up base camp at the Caruthersville Humane parking lot, unloading the small truck, horse trailer, boats and other equipment from BART. We met with the wonderful ladies who run the facility, City and County emergency managers, Caruthersville Chief of Police and the levy authority. The river was at 37.1 feet and we were told that we did not have anything to worry about until the river reached 42.0 feet. Our first assignment was to do an assessment of the animals and flooding situation in Pemiscot County. The team broke in to two groups with one going to the northern part of the county and one south meeting in the middle. They discovered that there were already areas beginning to flood and animal issues starting. Cattle are allowed to graze on the levees and those herds were identified incase they needed to be moved or fed in place. Populations of companion animals were also identified incase we needed to evacuate them.
Easter Sunday, 3-23-08 – We continued our assessments with one team going north to Mississippi and New Madrid counties. The other team went to an area flooding to evacuate what animals they could. The team brought in 9 dogs released by owner in flooded area. 7 dogs had to be trapped and Jim and Brett crawled under a house to bring 2 more out. We needed to open space at the Caruthersville shelter for the animals being evacuated and requested assistance from The Humane Society of Missouri. They sent their transport trailer and transport van to take 37 dogs and 11 cats that were already up for adoption to their facility in St. Louis for adoption. This freed up a large part of the shelter for the influx evacuees.
Monday, 3-24-08 – Keeping a wary eye on the river which as of today has reached 41.9 feet the teams have brought in an additional 30 dogs and 4 cats. Bringing the number of animals rescued to 67. The flood water has pushed many animals including wildlife into the city where they are not normally found. The team received a call about a deer down in someone’s back yard. They investigated the call and found a young deer that was wet and tired from braving the withers of the rising Mississippi just needed to warn and rest in the sun. They advised the concerned citizens that the best thing to do was just leave her alone. Going back several hours later they spotted her about a ½ mile down the levy doing just fine. As we go into Tuesday we will continue to assist the community where we can and keep that wary eye to the river which is expected to crest by Thursday at 44.0 ft.
Stay tuned for more updates!