OHS Disaster Response and Deployment News

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Last night, our disaster response team returned from North Carolina. Alexa, Eileen and Lynn have been stationed at a shelter providing care to pets displaced by Hurricane Florence. The shelter is housing almost 200 dogs and a dozen cats that will hopefully be reunited with their families soon.Thank you to all of our incredible donors who supported us this week. Without you, this important work would not be possible.

Posted by Oregon Humane Society on Saturday, September 29, 2018

Updates from the field

It’s been a busy season for the Oregon Humane Society staff and volunteers who are certified in Emergency Animal Sheltering. Their expertise was needed in response to natural disasters and in ongoing cruelty cases being managed by the ASPCA.

The devastating flooding following Hurricane Florence created a rapidly changing situation. The OHS team was on standby before the storm and went to North Carolina after the storm when it was determined where and how they could help. OHS volunteer Eileen Dennis was part of a team that included volunteer Lynne Davis and staff member Alexa Prasad. They worked for one week in late September in a rural area west of Wilmington, N.C. The community was very grateful for their help, even leaving a note for the team while they were eating dinner in a local restaurant. Eileen reflected on her week-long deployment and sent the following message:

I am so very thankful to be a volunteer at OHS and to be part of the EAS team. I saw firsthand the ramifications of being a county shelter in rural North Carolina. The lack of vaccines, lack of supplies, no volunteers, and staff that is doing the best job that they can considering the difficult circumstances that they find themselves in. And when a disaster hits, like Hurricane Florence, everything becomes even more difficult to handle given the number of animals that come through their shelter on any given day. At OHS, we have so many qualified and compassionate volunteers and staff that can deploy to situations like I was in at a moment’s notice. That is amazing to me. The work in N.C. was extremely hard in hot and humid conditions, but at the end of the day I felt so grateful to be a part of something that was so much larger than me. Seeing animals reunited with their family members was so very special to me. The image of wagging tails and smiles on the faces of animals and owners will remain with me for a long time. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to deploy and I look forward to doing this again when OHS is called upon to assist in the future.

OHS responders were also called to help with a number of ongoing cases led by the ASPCA. Our highly skilled team cared for dogs, cats and birds from a variety of difficult circumstances. Three teams, made up of OHS staff and volunteers, were deployed in October. OHS Admissions team member Luba, who conducts behavior assessments for pets coming to OHS, and was able to use this training during her deployment. She sent this summary of her work:

It was a great experience to be part of this ongoing operation. I had the opportunity to work with a variety of dogs with different behaviors. It was really rewarding to work one-on-one with the dogs and see their progress. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with the ASPCA.

The team of 121 OHS staff and volunteers certified in Emergency Animal Sheltering have all completed FEMA training and hands-on exercises. They are ready to respond to disasters and rescues at home or anywhere in the US.

Donations make these deployments possible. To support our disaster response efforts, donate here.

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