Tuesday 21 December 2021

Cat and dog rescue from Tornado Alley after the deadliest tornadoes in history

The world has read about the deadliest tornadoes in history at a location in central America called Tornado Alley where they are most frequent. Kentucky is in Tornado Alley. We've seen the pictures of flattened houses. Utterly destroyed. Homeless people. Ninety-four people confirmed dead across six states. It has been described as one of the largest storm outbreaks in history devastating the Midwest and South.

Cat and dog rescue from Tornado Alley after the deadliest tornadoes in history
Cat and dog rescue from Tornado Alley after the deadliest tornadoes in history. Photo: Zak Bennett for the Daily Mail.

They believe that 30 tornadoes ripped through Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois and Arkansas. It is now time to pick up the pieces in respect of companion animals.

Fortuitously, and perhaps remarkably, the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter in Kentucky withstood the tornadoes and remains standing which is why they have had a huge influx of animals displaced by the catastrophe.

There are hundreds of injured animals and displaced pets at the shelter currently. They decided to move a little over 100 animals to other rescue organisations to make more room. They been taken to Massachusetts for adoption. Specifically they been taken to shelters in Boston, Methuen, Centerville and Cape Cod.

These animals were taken to Massachusetts before the tornado struck in preparation for the projected large influx of displaced pets after the tornadoes.

Volunteers do vital work in cat and dog rescue
Volunteers do vital work in cat and dog rescue. Photo: Zak Bennett for the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail newspaper online say that they 'got a first look' at the displaced animals being held in crates waiting for their owners to pick them up. It appears that they will also remove some of these animals to Massachusetts and other states to cope with the ongoing influx.

I'm told that they are micro-chipping the animals. The idea behind that is that when their owner returns to pick them up they can properly keep track and identify them at the reunion. I think it's a way of identifying and managing the large number of rescued animals so that they can keep a handle on where they are and what is happening.

They expect to take in more animals in the coming days. David Spalding, Board President of the Mayfield County Animal Shelter spoke to DailyMail.com. He said that the animals don't have a place to go back to but they are out there amongst the carnage. He thinks it'll take awhile for them to calm down and come out at which time they will become visible. This will allow volunteers to catch them and bring them to the shelter.

Spalding said that he was overwhelmed but was managing. He said that he has not slept that much.

Kat Rooks, the Initiatives Director at the Kentucky Humane Center, was in one of the three vans that left Louisville to pick up 27 dogs and a cats from the Mayfield shelter (see photo at top of page). She said that it would take a long time to recover, remarking:

"Animals are coming in surrendered by good Samaritans. Animals coming in as strays. [Workers] are going out and assisting search-and-rescue teams and helping to remove animals from properties that have been devastated. They are already seeing an influx and expect that to continue. There were a lot of tears on Saturday. These are my friends, people that I know, I work with closely. People that I know lost everything there."

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