The floods of ‘97

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1997:

Animal rescuers were stretched thin from late January to St. Patrick’s
Day by flooding in northern California and twisters followed by torrential rains that
on March 4 raised the Ohio River to its highest level in 30 years. The American
Humane Association had just a boat-carrying mobile clinic to a regional training
event when the floods began, and didn’t get it into action until March 10, when it
set up in Falmouth, Kentucky. The Kentucky animal relief effort to then was
apparently led by Henry Wallace’s Henry’s Ark petting zoo, in Prospect.
The Humane Society of the U.S. reportedly published newspaper ads ballyhooing
involvement in the California animal rescue work, but according to Bob
Plumb of the Promoting Animal Welfare Society, which sent $5,000 and several
staff to the hardest-hit area, actually rescued just one bird. Four HSUS staffers and
two from AHA mostly helped the California Veterinary Medical Association emergency
team with paperwork, reports from the field agreed. United Animal Nations
Animal Rescue Service coordinator Terri Crisp meanwhile organized 600 volunteers
to rescue and care for 857 animals, housed temporarily at the Sacramento
fairgrounds, with no supply help, she alleged, from other national groups.

HSUS, Crisp said, “sent three people in nice clothes” to visit, on just
one of the 22 days the temporary shelter was operating. “I have a real problem
with them borrowing our boat and our waders, to pose for pictures,” Crisp fumed.
“Donors are being deceived.”
Crisp mustered seven trained rescuers to help in Clermont County, Ohio,
beginning March 7, when they rescued 46 abandoned and isolated animals, and
added five more rescuers to her staff the next day.
Arkansans for Animals coordinated the rescue work around Arkadelphia,
said president Joyce Hillard, picking up more than 150 scared, wet animals including
a Siberian tiger and a wolf hybrid. Help came from UAN, Friends of Animals,
and the Pet Savers Foundation. Little Rock Animal Control, the Saline County
Humane Society, and the Humane Society of Pulaski County reportedly also took
in more than 100 extra animals each in the first days after the twisters and rain hit.
UAN Animal Rescue Service training workshops are scheduled––if disasters
don’t interfere––for April 6 in Houston, April 19 in New York City, May 3
in Wilmington (N.C.), June 7 in Atlanta, June 21 in New Orleans, July 19 in
Boston, August 2 in Cleveland, August 3 in Cincinnati, September 6 in Las
Vegas, September 27 in Madison, October 25 in St. Louis, and November 1 in
Arlington, Virginia. Info: 916-429-2457, or fax 916-429-2456.

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