No Family Member Left Behind
Colorado gets it right!
Recent reports of the flooding in Colorado are more than alarming. The photos are heartrending. In the midst of all the ‘bad news’ a story looms on the horizon that can make us all feel good!
Our pets are an integral part of our family. To ask us to leave them behind is unthinkable. We understand there limited resources, but for the responsible person making the choice to leave a pet (family member) behind is going to result in a life-threatening delay. We will do anything possible to try to figure out a way to save our loved ones. Shelters are overflowing with unwanted and castoff pets. That is equally unthinkable, but the vast majority of pet owners would never dump a pet. They will dig deep in the heart and pocketbook to find a way to keep a pet going–sometimes against all hope.
If you have not read this story, here it is for you….
The Associate Press Reports on Pet Rescue
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Some helicopters rescuing people after massive flooding in Colorado carried more dogs, cats and fish than people. Rescuers using zip lines to evacuate people over raging rivers also risked their lives to make sure the four-legged members of families were safe.
In contrast to stories of people forced to leave their pets when New Orleans was swamped by Hurricane Katrina, the motto during one of the largest evacuations in Colorado history was “No pets left behind,” said Skye Robinson, a spokesman for the National Guard air search and rescue operations during Colorado’s floods. That’s because including pets in the rescue effort helped convince even reluctant residents to leave their homes. Officials also had more than enough space for the animals and even carried animal crates with them.
More than 800 pets have been ferried to safety with their owners via helicopter, the National Guard said. Hundreds more were rescued by ground crews. Livestock, like horses and cattle, were left behind, but a monkey was among those saved.
Once safely on dry ground, Red Cross shelters had water bowls, on-site dog kennels and all the necessary supplies to ensure already stressed evacuees wouldn’t be separated from their pets.
“We kind of learned after Katrina, when people wouldn’t evacuate because of their pets,” said Kathy Conner, a worker at a shelter at a YMCA in Boulder.
Evacuees Jerry Grove and Dorothy Scott-Grove said they never would have abandoned their vacation cabin in Estes Park without their two golden retrievers. But they didn’t have to make that hard choice. Firefighters carried the two large dogs to safety on the same zip line used to rescue the retired Ohio couple.
“They put them in a harness and one of the firefighters hooked himself to them and brought them across,” Dorothy Scott-Grove said. “We will not be separated.”
Once out, the Red Cross found the couple a pet-friendly hotel where the dogs the next day “were resting comfortably on our king-sized bed,” she said.
In a state where dog passengers are as common as humans in cars, Lisa Pedersen, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, said taking care of pets has become a central part of disaster planning.
It appears to be working. One week after floods and mudslides forced the local evacuation of more than 3,000 people, Pederson said the Boulder area shelter had just 72 pet evacuees — all but two of which were delivered by their owners for temporary shelter after they were forced from their homes.
“It just makes sense that you bring the pets along. They are part of the family,” Robinson said. “You wouldn’t leave a family behind because they had kids.”
Posted on September 20, 2013, in Information and Education, News, OwyheeStar and tagged Colorado Floods, dogs cats, Pet Rescue, Pets are family members, raging rivers. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I will cross my paws for Murphy and his family and all people and pets in Colorado. It’s so great that they have a heart for the animals too in Colorado.
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