Rescue groups respond to animals trapped in Midwest floods

Monday, 23 June, 2008

(Yarmouth Port, MA – 23 June 2008) Severe flooding in the U.S. Midwest which has already claimed the lives of 24 humans and countless animals continues to threaten wildlife, livestock, and pets in Illinois. In response to the disaster, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW –, American Humane Association (, and Animal Rescue League of Boston ( have teamed together to aid local animal control which has surpassed capacity.

Staging at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Quincy, Illinois, the three groups – the first to enter Illinois to assist in animal relief – have set up a temporary shelter, which is growing each day. Twenty fawns, rescued by local groups from atop an overflowing  levee, where they tried to escape rising floodwaters, are now being cared for at the shelter. Other residents include: two horses, one sow, three chickens, three dogs, and two kittens.

“These fawns cannot be more than four weeks old, and with their mothers assumed dead, they are completely reliant on us for their survival. We have constructed temporary sheltering for the animals and will continue to bottlefeed,” says Dick Green, Disaster Relief Manager for IFAW. While these animals will be cared for until they can be turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator for eventual reintegration into the wild, Green reminds that countless other animals will not have been so lucky.

The county Animal Warden, Jenny Benjamin, has fully welcomed the assistance as according to Benjamin, all local shelters have reached capacity. Tracy Reis, American Humane’s Manager for Animal Emergency Services, who has worked with the group since Hurricane Katrina, is the Head of Shelter Operations on-site.

Residents and volunteers continue to frantically work in sandbagging operations to contain the Mississippi River as experts forecast record-crests along the Illinois and Missouri border. The floodwaters in Quincy have yet to fall, now standing at a record 30-plus feet.


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy