CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (June 26, 2008) – Diann Wellman has given up nearly a month of her time to help victims of the historic flooding here, and she’s being licked in the face and purred at in thanks. A professional pet sitter from Grant County, Indiana, Wellman is putting in 14-hour days at a temporary shelter, caring for nearly 900 dogs, cats, birds and other pets left homeless by the storm.
Wellman is a volunteer Regional Director with United Animal Nations – a Sacramento, California-based nonprofit organization that provides emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief through its Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) program. Wellman is leading a team of 20 EARS volunteers to help Cedar Rapids Animal Control take care of evacuated and rescued animals at the temporary shelter, set up on a community college campus.
Wellman said that she has been putting in long, exhausting days but is rewarded when she sees how grateful the animals are for her attention. “Being separated from their families, many of the animals have been very scared, especially those how were stranded and had to be rescued,” she said. “But once our EARS volunteers spend some time cudd
Wellman arrived in
A lifelong animal lover, Wellman is a member of the Indiana Horse Council, and a foster parent and former board member for Kentuckiana Pug Rescue. She is a former police, ambulance and fire dispatcher and helps plan educational programs for the annual Hoosier Horse Fair and Expo in
“Being here and seeing how much these animals miss their families really brings home the importance of having identification, like a tag and microchip, for your pet,” Wellman said. “People often don’t think about it until a disaster or emergency actually happens, and by then it is too late.”
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations is