After two days of intense thunderstorms that brought devastating floods to the city of Nashville, TN, and forced evacuations across multiple states, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team have been deployed at the request of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. The ASPCA is currently on the ground helping to care for more than 70 companion animals, including dogs, cats and various birds that were rescued from floodwaters, trees, rooftops and abandoned homes in the Dyersburg city limits, approximately 80 miles north of Memphis.
ASPCA responders arrived Tuesday afternoon and immediately established a temporary shelter behind the humane society to handle the overflow of animals—providing extra cages, bowls, food, industrial fans and other necessary supplies. The team also set up a decontamination station where animals affected by the polluted flood water can be washed and cleaned.
"The temporary shelter has helped ease the strain on the already full humane society," says Allison Cardona, the ASPCA Director of Operations. "The Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society and its staff and volunteers have been extremely dedicated toward the animals in their community during this life-threatening event."
The ASPCA has also worked with local authorities to implement a water rescue team, with volunteers navigating some areas in small motor boats to access abandoned pets. Most of the animals in custody have been removed from homes at the request of pet parents forced to evacuate and will be housed at the temporary shelter until they are claimed. All incoming animals will recieve a physical exam, and if veterinary records cannot be located, will be vaccinated as a precaution. The Humane Society is not charging for the emergency boarding or medical care.
"Our city has been declared a disaster area and many neighborhoods have been evacuated," says Dr. Carol Feather, President and Co-founder of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. "We're grateful for the ASPCA's assistance, and to our own staff and volunteers, all of whom have been working non-stop to help animals that are abandoned or lost. We want to save all the animals we can—that's our job."
In addition to the ASPCA, local businesses assisting Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society include Hollywood Feed, which provided cages, and Pet Stop, which relieved the organization of some of its adoptable pets so room could be made for incoming animals.
"The ASPCA will continue to provide supplies, support and manage the temporary shelter and decontamination area for as long as we're needed," says Cardona. "We are glad to be in a position to provide relief."
Please stay tuned to the ASPCA blog for breaking news on this disaster and our efforts to aid.