The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team is in Joplin, Missouri, following a lethal tornado that devastated the area last weekend. The deployment is especially meaningful for ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response Tim Rickey, who is himself a native of Joplin.
“The destruction caused by the tornado is indescribable, and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster—pets and people alike,” says Rickey, who began disaster relief work in Joplin the day after the tornado.
At the request of the Joplin Humane Society, we’re heading up emergency sheltering operations and assisting the Humane Society of Missouri with field rescues. On Monday, Rickey helped the city establish a temporary shelter for family pets near the Joplin Humane Society.
“We hope to alleviate the stress for pet parents by temporarily caring for their animals,” says Rickey.
PetSmart Charities is assisting in this effort, providing two Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicles filled with sheltering supplies like crates, blankets and bowls.
The ASPCA has also coordinated the transport of nearly 150 animals from the Joplin Humane Society to Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri in Springfield. This move will allow Joplin Humane to accept more animals affected by the tornado.
“We’re ensuring that existing shelter animals are out of harm’s way,” says Rickey, adding that many of the dogs and cats rescued so far are suffering from lacerations, broken bones and eye injuries that appear to have been caused by the storm.
Adds Rickey: “The ASPCA will provide ongoing assistance, personnel and resources in Joplin as long as we’re needed.”
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