July 21st, 2009
On Sunday, July 19, a team of UAN’s trained Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers began caring for more than 400 dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, swans and geese seized from a hoarding situation in Hawaii. EARS volunteers helped set up a temporary shelter for the animals and will care for them until they can be transferred to rescue groups and shelters for adoption.
Submitted by Janell Matthies, UAN Emergency Services Manager
Yesterday we started doing what UAN’s EARS volunteers do best: caring for the animals. Everyone was quickly and efficiently fed and cleaned this morning. With a minimal crew, the dogs and cats remained calm and quiet through it all, especially after Sunday’s business of capture, transport and lots and lots of people coming and going.
Even though the temperatures soared and humidity was extraordinarily high, the volunteers never stopped caring for each individual animal and giving them the attention they so desperately need. The nervous dogs quickly calmed down and the terrified cats seemed to begin to warm up. The one duck in our care seems quite content in her kennel, sitting on her eggs.
We are beginning to learn the personalities of the individual animals and what still scares them. They seem to know we are here to help them and are beginning to show some spirit, whereas two days ago, most were trying to avoid us at all costs. Some dogs are starting to wag their tails when they see us, probably expecting more food or treats. They are very much enjoying their huge bowls of water, especially to jump around in, on, next to and spill.
The cats are being housed in group housing and seem to very much enjoy their multiple cat trees and hiding places. They are beginning to eat a little today and maybe starting to act like cats.
Yesterday was a very long, hot day with more kennel building and strengthening. We have discovered that some of the dogs are so strong they can just push their kennel around wherever they want to go and cruise down the aisle pushing their kennel with their snout. We’re getting more and more creative in finding ways to keep everyone safe and where they should be.
The volunteers’ compassion for these animals is truly shining through. They are taking their breaks sitting by their favorites and talking to them, helping them to learn to trust people and accept our care. We will share some of these specific stories tomorrow.