August 14th, 2009
Submitted by Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies (pictured at top)
It’s day six at the emergency shelter in Kaufman Texas and I am just now finding a moment to sit down and let you all know what has been happening here.
Sunday and Monday were spent setting up our temporary shelter in a livestock building utilizing PetSmart Charities equipment and supplies, and preparing to take in the animals who so desperately need help. With temperatures near 100 degrees, mandatory water breaks were in place and all of the volunteers watched out for each other, making sure everyone was drinking water and Gatorade and forcing breaks on each other.
Almost the entire UAN team was requested to go to the seizure location. We have animal control, law enforcement, federal evidence and documentation taking, and many, many other skills to offer the team in the field. After 12 hours of loading animals in 100-degree heat, we finally had everyone safely and comfortably in their crates in the temporary shelter.
Since then, the volunteers have been working hard to settle the dogs in, get them vet checked, fed, watered and relaxed. We’ve seen them go from being utterly confused, terrified, in pain and suffering to being clean, relaxed and happy dogs. Many of the newborn puppies and mothers were in very poor condition when they came in and caused for some concern for all of us. Yesterday, after receiving fluids, calories, comfort and much care from the vets and volunteers, many of the pups started perking up and acting like puppies. Some of the moms who were not producing milk have actually starting to produce again, so we no longer need to bottle feed their
Personalities are starting to shine through and as usual, the volunteers are beginning to discover their favorites. The boy dog who had a collar identifying him as Laura has been renamed to Larry. The bouncing Pomeranian in the back of Row D is now Rowdy Girl. The pup who was originally suspected of having parvo but has since been declared healthy is named Oliver.
We are still awaiting the outcome of the legal case against the owner of the dogs and keeping our fingers crossed that it will be in favor of the animals. Until then, we will continue to work hard, stay hydrated and give these animals the best care they have ever received.