When tornados ripped apart the small animal shelter in Guthrie, Oklahoma Tuesday night, Monica Ailey of Homeward Bound Animal Rescue in Bedford was one of the first to respond. Monica, who is the Texas State Liaison for Animal Rescue Corps, was on sight in less than 24 hours.
What she found was heart-breaking. Guthrie’s cat shelter and office were completely destroyed and the building that once housed homeless dogs was uninhabitable. City of Guthrie Animal Shelter Superintendent, Suzy Brown and her team had immediately located temporary housing for all the animals. But with limited resources, no shelter facility and calls pouring in for many more animals that needed help, she’d turned to Animal Rescue Corps for assistance.
According to ARC Founder Scotlund Haisley, Superintendent Brown’s first question was "What will your services cost?". He describes her reaction as “near disbelief” when he explained that Animal Rescue Corps is funded by private donations. Their mission is not take precious resources from the community, but to give them back. And that’s exactly what they did in Guthrie.
“I’m in shock after losing my building, and now in the outpouring of support I have received,” said Guthrie Animal Shelter Superintendant Suzy Brown. “We are so grateful to Animal Rescue Corps for their assistance and can’t believe an organization like theirs exists. It is our commitment to care for these animals and ARC is helping us do that in this extraordinary situation.”
Amazingly, most all of the sixty-three animals – 33 dogs and 30 cats – survived, even with kennels and cages torn free, tossed about and left in piles of rubble. Animal Rescue Corps team members loaded their climate controlled transport vehicle with many of the dogs and cats once housed in the now-destroyed shelter. Those animals are being delivered to Kansas Humane Society in Wichita, Kansas, Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado, and to rescue groups both in the area and outside the state. Doing so will free up precious space and resources as an emergency shelter is erected for housing and care of those animals out in the Guthrie community still needing help.
ARC isn’t done. They’re planning to expand their efforts into nearby communities where reports are coming in of other animals displaced by the severe weather and other animal facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. And you can help. ARC’s disaster relief efforts are funded by donations from the public and monetary support is critical right now. If you can help, please consider donating. Find out more about how you can help by visiting the ARC website.
Photo, above left, courtesy Tim Woodward/ARC: Monica Ailey uses a cabinet found in the rubble as a desk and begins the task of accounting for each of the animals, while a confused shelter dog looks on.
Video courtesy Animal Rescue Corps
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