December 20th, 2010
We asked Janell Matthies, UAN Emergency Services Manager, to identify the top ten moments from our emergency sheltering responses in 2010. But we had 11 responses this year, and naturally Janell had a great memory from each one!
1. At the Georgia dogfighting response, watching a dog who had, just hours before, been in the ring fighting for his life, lick a volunteer’s hand and snuggle up on a new warm bed with a sigh of contentment.
2. At the Mississippi hoarding response, the morning Stevie’s paw was hanging out of his crate. He was an older, blind and incredibly fearful dog who had been curled up at the back of his crate. The volunteers gently talked to and pet him for days – all with no response, until that morning. The next day was another paw, the next day, his whole head. Small steps toward a much brighter future.
3. Seeing more than 100 cats all in one room, peacefully sleeping on soft, clean beds, after being rescued from a hoarding situation in Kern County, California.
4. At the Tennessee puppy mill response, letting Lil’ Hal — a dog with the worst genetic deformities we have ever seen — grab our attention and our hearts. He was the happiest, most loving and lovable dog and was adopted by a wonderful family with an eight-year-old boy to be his best friend.
5. The day Eve came to me during the West Virginia equine cruelty response. She had been locked up on a hill, alone, in a cemetery. On the last day of the deployment, she slowly approached me and let me stroke her neck. She wore a look of contentment and trust in eyes that had been completely vacant just weeks before.
6. Day three of the Kern County, California hoarding response in July, when Chunky Monkey, who had been sitting huddled and shivering in the back of his cage since his arrival, finally came forward and gave one of the volunteers a lick.
7. During the Eastern Montana Humane Society shelter rescue, grooming the gray, matted unidentified “mutt” to discover he was a beautiful schnauzer underneath.
8. Hand feeding the baby birds after the Missouri bird rescue. They began to see us as mom and would chirp and flutter whenever we came near.
9. Watching 96 dogs rescued from a hoarding case in Montana learn to tentatively trust, then full out love, as they began to act like real dogs.
One of the dogs rescued from an
Indiana puppy mill on December 1, 2010.
10. During the California rat rescue, meeting rat after rat with different personalities — the cuddlers, the shy ones, the playful pranksters. Learning that rats are like little dogs just bursting with character and friendliness.
11. At the Indiana puppy mill response, getting 120 dogs from puppy mill cage to rescue, foster or adoption in under 72 hours with food, love, vet care and compassion packed in between.
Please watch this video of just a few of the 2,300 animals rescued during UAN responses in 2010.
You can help us help more animals like these in 2011 by making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Disaster Relief Fund.
If you have a favorite memory from one of the 2010 emergency sheltering responses, please share it in the comments section below!