Noah's Wish

Saving Animals in Disasters

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April 2011 - Tornadoes

Deployment began on April, 2011 – Ended May, 2011

On May 10, 2011, demobilization plans are underway at the shelter in Conway. Owners are being notified of the closure date, foster screenings continue, cages are being sanitized and disassembled. Approximately 50 animals remain onsite.

The Noah’s Wish Team wants to convey our gratitude to the people of Conway, Vilonia, and surrounding communities. Countless local people have given of themselves every day to provide care for animals impacted by recent tornadoes and floods. Outstanding examples of the community coming together to care for the displaced animals in the shelter include:

Five students from the local high school “Ag Department” have been to the shelter every day, mucking stalls, cleaning crates, walking dogs, and just doing whatever is needed to provide optimal care.

A group of local women, all mothers, told their families that their wish for Mother’s Day was to take care of the animals. With the blessings of their families, they came out in force, bringing good cheer and high energy to the shelter.

A local college is sending a team of young men over to steam clean and pressure wash the kennels, cages and crates, prior to storage.

Plus many other local convergent volunteers have given their time, brought supplies, as well as brought home cooked meals and lots of baked goodies to keep the volunteers well fed.

Additionally, local residents Crystal and David Moore opened up their home to the out-of-town volunteers, providing relaxing end-of-day accommodations. Their home theater was available for entertainment, as well as comfortable beds, laundry service and home cooked food. (Crystal had volunteered at ARNO feeding stations in December 2005, post-Katrina. Her schedule has not allowed her to volunteer at this shelter, so she and her husband found a way to take care of the animals in Conway, by taking care of the volunteers). Two local veterinarians (Dr. Laura Erikson of Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Little Rock and Dr. George Williams of the Wade Animal Clinic, Morrilton, AR) have graciously given of their time and services, assessing and treating animals that were injured during the tornado. They have been actively involved in the care of these animals since before Noah’s Wish arrived on scene.

Faulkner County SPCA, the original agency to respond to the needs of the animals in the aftermath of the tornadoes, with their own shelter damaged, dozens of animals already in their care and limited resources, pulled together emergency housing to meet the immediate needs. Recognizing that additional help was needed, the Faulkner County SPCA put in the call to Noah’s Wish for help. Without the prompt actions of Faulkner County SPCA, countless animal lives would have been lost. The animal disaster shelter is now operating under the auspices of the Arkansas Department of Livestock and Poultry. Dr. George Patrick Badley, State Veterinarian and his assistant Larry Pilkington have been onsite daily, working alongside Noah’s Wish.

Thanks to John Kruckeberg, veterinarian from Columbia, TN. drove to Conway after learning of the needs in Faulkner County. Dr. Kruckeberg, who works with the Seattle based Christian Veterninary Mission, brought a horse trailer full of supplies and immediately began treatment when he arrived onsite. National companies have contributed much needed supplies to this effort – Proctor and Gamble, Pedigree, Purina Mills, as well as Walmart and the local feed store. As always, the success of any disaster relief operation is collaborative. Each contributing partner can feel pride in the result – animal lives saved, as well as providing comfort to the people who love them