ARL Ready to Help Hurricane Victims

posted on Thursday, September 14, 2017 in News

ARL Rescues 60 Animals from Flooded HouseUPDATE (09/14/17): The ARL’s Mobile Rescue Team deployed this week at the request of the ASPCA to help with water rescue of animals impacted by Hurricane Irma’s devastation. Our team, specifically trained in water rescue, immediately dispatched with our Emergency Rescue Boat. With the traffic and chaos on the roads, the ARL team spent 2 days driving to the scene and landed yesterday (09/13) in Fort Myers, Florida.

Sixty dogs, cats, and exotic birds were trapped inside a house that was completely surrounded by water. There were 24 small dogs wading in the house that had at least 4” of water inside.

Our team got to work loading the animals in carriers and putting them onto a floating dock, which was then used to bring the animals to a truck where they were loaded up. The animals were then transported to a nearby church where another team was waiting.

All 60 animals are now safe and dry thanks to a team effort with the ARL Mobile Rescue Team, ASPCA, Lee County Animal Control, and Miami-Dade Animal Control.

In the middle of this rescue, we dispatched a second team to help at the emergency animal shelter that is currently housing hundreds of animals displaced from Florida animal shelters that were in the path of Hurricane Irma. This team is specifically trained in large scale animal care and brings the total of the ARL team on the ground to 8.

“The Animal Rescue League of Iowa has always been there to answer the call to help Iowa’s animals and thanks to our highly trained and skilled team as well as a fleet of rescue equipment, we are proud to also be able to answer the call to help animals across the country that have been impacted by devastating natural disasters,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. “The Emergency Response Fund was created to specifically support our on-the-ground rescue work – whether within Iowa or beyond.”

You can donate to the ARL’s Emergency Response Fund below.

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ARL Mobile Rescue Team Deployed to Help with Hurricane Irma
09/11/17 (DES MOINES) – The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) Mobile Rescue Team has been deployed to assist the ASPCA with animal rescues related to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. The team being sent for this deployment has been specifically trained in water rescue and will be transporting our emergency rescue boat and critical rescue supplies. The ARL team deployed this morning and is expected to be gone for one week.

The ARL Mobile Rescue Team just arrived back in Des Moines on Wednesday (September 6) following a week-long deployment to help with Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Upon their return, the ARL immediately began preparing for the anticipated deployment for Hurricane Irma.

“It is unprecedented to have two natural disasters so close together, displacing thousands of animals, but the ARL Mobile Rescue Team is again answering the call to help the animals in need. We train and prepare for situations just like these, with the hopes that the training and rescue equipment is never needed, but unfortunately there is a great need right now, so we are glad we have the team and supplies necessary to assist on a national level,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

The ARL expects to deploy an additional team this week to assist the ASPCA at their emergency animal shelter located in Duncan, S.C. This team is specifically trained in animal handling (dog, cat, horses, and small animals) in large scale environments.

“The ASPCA has been working with multiple animal welfare organizations, including the ARL of Iowa, to help animals displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Jessica Rushin, partnerships manager for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “We are grateful to the ARL of Iowa for providing resources and professional responders to work with us in the field, making it possible for the ASPCA to continue its life-saving work to help animals impacted by these devastating disasters.”

Those interested in helping these rescue efforts can stay up-to-date on the rescue efforts and make a donation to the ARL’s Emergency Response Fund below.

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UPDATE (09/06/17): After a week-long deployment in Texas, the ARL’s Mobile Rescue Team will be arriving back at the ARL at approximately 11am today. They are bringing back 17 dogs that were in shelters just outside of Houston that were already in the shelter prior to the hurricane. These dogs are being transported to Iowa to make more room for displaced pets from the hurricane.

The animal welfare community learned a lot during Hurricane Katrina where lost/found/rescued animals were dispersed all across the country, making it impossible for people to be reunited with their pets. Now, the animals that are being transferred to shelters outside of the hurricane-hit area are those that were already in the impacted shelters and ready for adoption. By sending those animals to other parts of the country, it frees up space for local shelters to help the local animals affected by this tragedy in the same area – and will ensure more families are reunited with their pets in the process.


ARL Hurricane Harvey Update

UPDATE (09/05/17): Day 4-5: The ARL Mobile Rescue Team spent the past 2 days assisting the Houston SPCA with some of the horses in their care. We partnered with some of our horse friends in Des Moines to bring down much-needed hay, grain, medical supplies, and dog food – and then spent time on-site assisting with hoof care. As the water recedes, the need continues. This team will soon be coming back from their deployment, but we still anticipate more to come as the days and weeks go by and the mission switches from rescue to recovery.

To make a donation to our Emergency Response Fund, please click the donate button below.

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Hurricane Harvey, ARL UPDATE (09/02/17): Day 3: The ARL Mobile Rescue Team is still on the ground in Texas and today their assignment is an additional 4 hours south, in Rockport TX, just outside of Corpus Christi. Rockport is a town of about 10,000 people. It was among the first to be hit by Hurricane Harvey and has been called a "total loss". The city was completely underwater and their only Animal Control Officer also lost everything. Our team was called in by officials to help and they told us "there are dogs everywhere". The entire city is without electricity and clean water and since there are no operating hotels nearby, officials have made arrangements to house our team in the local prison for the night. We’ll keep you posted on the rescue efforts as they continue.

To make a donation to our Emergency Response Fund, please click the donate button below.

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UPDATE (09/01/17): The ARL Mobile Rescue Team is on the ground in Texas for the 2nd day and so far today their assignment has been to help load Texas shelter animals for transport to shelters in Georgia.

There seems to be a lot of inaccurate reporting and confusion surrounding how the animal transports are working, so we wanted to try to clear that up:

There were a lot of lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina, one of which was that displaced animals will have the best chance of being reunited with their families if they are kept in the area. After Katrina, many of the displaced pets were sent all over the country in an effort to “save them”, but that meant that many families never saw their beloved pets again. We know that when people are reunited with their pets, it significantly aids in their recovery process, so it is even more imperative to keep displaced pets in the area.

The animal transports from Texas to other states (including Iowa) that you’ve been hearing about, have been/should be only bringing pets that were already in Texas shelters prior to Hurricane Harvey. By transporting pets that don’t have a family looking for them to other states, it frees up the Texas shelters to be able to accept the displaced pets from the Hurricane and keep them in the state, increasing their chances of being reunited. Transporting Texas pets does not mean transporting hurricane pets (at this stage), but it helps the overall hurricane relief efforts.

But, the ARL Mobile Rescue Team is actually in Texas for a different reason. We are currently the only shelter in Iowa that has deployed to assist rescuers on the ground. This was not a deployment to transport animals, but rather to help rescue animals that were directly impacted by Harvey. It’s important to also note that we did not self-deploy (authorities are urging everyone to not self-deploy). Instead, we were requested to deploy by one of the national rescue organizations on the ground to provide staff that are trained specifically in water rescues, and assist however else is needed.

We are anticipating and prepared for additional deployments to assist with animal transports as the days and weeks of the hurricane rescue and recovery continues. To prepare for this, our “Name Your Price” adoption event for cats of all ages and dogs over 6 months continues through Sunday. Many of the 20 dogs that arrived from Texas on Monday night will be available for adoption this weekend – and several have already been adopted.

This is all just the beginning of a very long recovery. Right now the primary focus is on freeing up kennel space in Texas shelters and rescuing animals on the ground.

We’ll keep you posted on the rescue efforts as they continue.

To make a donation to our Emergency Response Fund, please click the donate button below.

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UPDATE (08/31/17, 4:21 PM): Several of the 20 dogs that arrived in Des Moines from Texas on Monday night are now available for adoption, with others becoming available over the next few days. Adoptable dogs can be viewed at www.arl-iowa.org/dogs. The ARL’s “Name Your Price” adoption event continues through Sunday to continue to make room for the anticipated arrival of more dogs from Texas shelters. Applies to cats of all ages and dogs over 6 months.

Stay up to date on the latest information at www.arl-iowa.org/harvey or www.facebook.com/arliowa.


UPDATE (08/31/17): The ARL Mobile Rescue Team arrived in Kemah, TX just before 3:00 a.m. this morning, after driving a non-stop 18 hours, while towing the ARL's emergency rescue boat. The team that was sent to help on this first deployment is specifically trained in animal water rescue. Now, after a few hours of sleep they are awaiting their assignment for the area of most need, currently focusing on rescuing animals by water or land in the areas of Kemah, League City, and Dickinson. We are also preparing for the next round of deployment to help even more animals. We will continue to keep you posted.

To make a donation to our Emergency Response Fund, please click the donate button below.

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(UPDATED 8/29/17, 6:00 P.M.) Conditions in Texas continue to be dire and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa is on the way to help. The ARL Mobile Rescue Team has just been asked by a national animal rescue organization to help with both water rescue by boat and door-to-door animal rescues in two cities about 30 miles south of Houston, TX. The team will be transporting our emergency rescue boat and critical rescue supplies and will be deploying first thing tomorrow morning. This is the first of many anticipated deployments for our Mobile Rescue Team and is expected to last at least a week.

We could not respond to emergency situations like these without your support. Your donation will provide life-saving help to countless animals who are stranded and struggling to survive. Please help these rescue efforts with a donation to our Emergency Response fund today.

To help these rescue efforts, make a donation to our Emergency Response fund by clicking on the donate button below.

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ARL READY TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS AFTER ALREADY TRANSPORTING 20 DOGS FROM NORTH TEXAS LATE MONDAY NIGHT

Hurricane HarveyThe Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) Mobile Rescue Team dispatched Monday morning after receiving a request to help rescue 20 dogs from a large-scale rescue operation in North Texas. This rescue was scheduled before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, but it removed some burden from the Texas shelter system so they could assist animals who urgently needed their help due to the hurricane.

Our Mobile Rescue Team arrived with the 20 dogs late last night and our Animal Care Team got them settled with a warm place to sleep and full bowls of food and water for their first night in a new place.

At the same time our Mobile Rescue Team was helping these North Texas dogs, we were also in communication with the rescue teams on the ground in Houston and throughout Texas to offer our assistance with their disaster response.

This could mean anything from transferring additional animals into our care from the impacted areas, deploying our Mobile Rescue Team to the scene of the disaster, transporting supplies, or numerous other scenarios.

We have activated our Emergency Response plan so we can quickly assist in these efforts with our rescue teams, vehicles, and equipment. Our staff train regularly for a variety of emergency response scenarios. Thanks to rescue-related grant funding, we already have the necessary rescue equipment for companion and barn animal rescues, and are ready and able to deploy within hours.

HOW YOU CAN HELP RIGHT NOW
In anticipation of more animals arriving at the ARL very soon, we are hosting a “Clear the Shelter” adoption event. Today through Sunday, you can “Name Your Price” for cats and kittens of all ages and dogs 6 months and up. We have over 1,400 animals in our care right now, and placing those animals into homes will greatly impact our ability to help animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Across the country, the animal shelter system will be full of animals as rescue efforts – and the eventual rebuilding – continues. If you are considering surrendering your pet, please contact the ARL first, so we can explore other resources to prevent your pet from entering the shelter system right at this time.

The animal welfare community learned a lot during Hurricane Katrina where lost/found/rescued animals were dispersed all across the country, making it impossible for people to be reunited with their pets. Now, the animals that are being transferred to shelters outside of the hurricane-hit area are those that were already in the impacted shelters and ready for adoption. By sending those animals to other parts of the country, it frees up space for local shelters to help the local animals affected by this tragedy – and will ensure more families are reunited with their pets in the process.

The ARL has always stepped forward to meet the needs of animals wherever they are and we will continue to do so. We will continue to update you on our involvement as things progress. Stay up to date on the latest information at www.arl-iowa.org/harvey or www.facebook.com/arliowa.

To make a donation to our Emergency Response Fund, please click the donate button below.

Donate Now