February 29th, 2012
Thank you to Marcia Goodman, RedRover Responders volunteer and Communications Assistant, for these reflections on the second day of this response.
.Is it really just Day 2 of the RedRover deployment to Jacksonville, Florida? The volunteers feel as though it’s been at least a week!
Today was another long and hectic day here at the temporary emergency animal shelter for cats rescued from the Caboodle Ranch in Lee, Florida. As RedRover and other agencies moved into daily care mode, the ASPCA continued to trap and transport to the shelter more and more cats from the ranch. The current total at the shelter is now nearly 700, with still more to come. Many more cats are being trapped each night and transported to the shelter – representing hope for each cat to have a good and safe new life.
The volunteers haven’t been able to spend socialization time yet with the cats because our emphasis has been on implementing the processes for the daily care of this huge number of cats: ensuring that they have safe, clean, comfortable housing, with regular feedings and water, all while absorbing the daily arrival of more cats from the ranch to the shelter.
While we are providing the daily care, cats are continually transferred within the shelter to one of the medical units for triage, examination and treatment. The shelter is a hubbub of activity. Many of the cats have exhibited signs of neglect and had upper respiratory infections, skin conditions and eye infections among other medical issues. It’s hard to be patient for time to socialize with the cats, but, as RedRover Emergency Services Manager Beth Gammie put it, we have to remember that this is just Day 2.
RedRover has been receiving very positive feedback from the ASPCA about our volunteers. For example, at a full staff/volunteer briefing, our volunteer Amy McMahon was singled out for her excellent work as a “runner” for the medical team. ASPCA, as lead agency in this rescue, continues to emphasize their appreciation for all our volunteers, and we appreciate them as well.
In future days, as we have some time to socialize with cats, we’ll start to highlight some of them in this blog. As always, the RedRover volunteers bring different sets of experiences to this deployment, and we’ll highlight some of those too. For a few volunteers, this is their first deployment, and we’ll ask them what this experience means to them.
So, stay tuned . . .