North Dakota Sheltering Update: Assisting After the Flood

Some folks flew in just to help out.

POST DATE: 7.21.11

I knew the task of helping at the Minot, North Dakota emergency animal shelter (EAS) would be difficult since there were so many obstacles in the way such as a lack of temporary housing in the area, continuous severe weather adding to flood waters, and the time element that always plagues us when a disaster ridden area cannot begin a healing process after 5 weeks.

So what a lovely surprise when I showed up with our International Fund for Animal Welfare team of five to the EAS on Sunday and 20 volunteers from the community were already waiting to help walk the 155 dogs whose owners had to leave them in our care while they try to put back together their lives and find a place to call home again.

Even after five weeks the community surrounding this EAS has continued to support them by showing up during the 2 volunteer periods to walk dogs, clean kennels, and care for almost 200 cats (oh yeah, 1 iguana, 1 rabbit and 20 birds too)!

One volunteer rallied her team members and I noticed her t-shirt said 'Class of '81 Flood Crew.' When I asked her about the t-shirt she said that even though her high school reunion was canceled this summer due to the flooding, her and her best friend both kept their plane tickets to come volunteer for those affected by the disaster.

She worked tirelessly at the EAS and even gathered some of her high school friends to join in the fun! It is truly amazing how many folks I meet through my work who step up to help those less fortunate, 2-legged and 4-legged both! Thank you all who open your hearts to support our work.

We cannot do this without you!

POST DATE: 7.22.11 

I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara and Max today and I am inspired to share their story and work even harder to help animals in crisis! Max originally didn't have a name - he was just called 'flood stray.'

Max and Barbara.

Emergency animal shelter (EAS) volunteers decided he must have a proper name as all living things deserve. So he became 'Jack' and 'Cajun' and 'Bear' just to name a few! So loving and able to still show us his unconditional love and compassion despite the unknown past that led him into our EAS somehow.

Everyone fell in love with our boy, especially Barbara and her daughter Christina. They often come to volunteer at the EAS as Christine gets off of the night shift at work to join us at 8am.

This is an amazing family and I was fortunate to get to help them load MAX into his new shiny car that already held all sorts of doggie toys and treats! But the best treat of all was a forever home.

Barbara and her husband Joe opened their hearts and home to this scruffy black lab mix with no hesitation. Christina shared an email with me on Max's first night and told tales of Max playing in his new large backyard and sleeping peacefully in his new bed.

Thank you all for helping support our work to help these special victims of disasters.

--SW

For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to save animals in crisis around the world visit http://ifaw.org

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