Joplin Missouri is a disaster. Thousands of buildings have been destroyed, the human death count is over 100 and with more storms on the way. There is no safe place to take shelter. There are some other storm victims that are receiving attention. Many animals have been left homeless and wandering the streets or hiding in rubble Some are injured, all are frightened.
From: Boxer/Schnauzer rescue Of The Ozarks
Date: May 23, 2011 11:37;21 PM CDT
Subject: What YOU can do to help
This is what is happening and this IS a first hand account. SWHS is bringing the adoptable dogs and cats back to their shelter. Once they are processed in, they will be up for adoption. I think I handled everyone today and there are some wonderful animals in need of homes.
The Joplin HS is cleaning out these runs and putting dogs and cats displaced from the storm in these runs. THESE ANIMALS CAN NOT LEAVE THE SHELTER. This is important. The Humane Society of Missouri and the ASPCA are at the shelter and THEY ARE IN CHARGE, not Joplin. These animals will not be able to leave until these two organizations allow it. A warehouse has been opened for all these animals. At this point it is POURING rain in Joplin and lots of animals are hiding. Incoming is happening but slow. As the weather gets better and they get hungry they will start coming out. The animal rescue side of things is going to get busy in a couple of days. This is why it is important to clear out their shelter. Rescues can not take these animals and just house them. As we pulled a dog out of a run or kennel, we had a staff member there waiting to clean it. When I returned, there was another dog there with a big red card on it's cage. The red card means it is a disaster dog. It was unreal that as soon as we emptied the cage, they filled it.
The biggest thing I can say is DO NOT GO TO JOPLIN. People were walking in to help and all they can do is leave their name and number. The Humane Society of Missouri and the ASPCA are bringing in their disaster response teams that know how to triage and deal with this. Also, do no go to the SWS unless you are already a trained volunteer or are going to adopt. The staff and previously trained volunteers have plans and at this moment don't have time to train new volunteers.
So, you ask me, what can I do to help. This is what you can do. At this time hard food is NOT NEEDED. The Humane Society of Missouri and the ASPCA were rolling in with trailers FULL of food. This is what they NEED.
money to buy supplies
Joplin is also in need of canned food.... not hard, in addition to everything listed above.
Being there in person I can say the biggest need is towels and blankets. The SWHS will be releasing lists again. If the list does not come from the SWHS, Humane Society of Missouri or the ASPCA, I would double check before you run out and buy what is on the list.
Also, we are bringing back 7 birds tomorrow for A Parrots Perch Rescue. I am sure they will need supplies also. I can not tell you what they need so please contact them directly. The Joplin asked id SWHS did birds. They don't, but I told them I know who does. We sent an email to A Parrots Perch, they called and didn't hesitate, just said yes. They took them.
For a personal note, the town is horrible. I did run into people wandering through the shelter to see if their pets were there. The Humane Society of Missouri and the ASPCA is JUST NOW setting up triage as they know it will start to get busy. People are still in shock at this point. Joplin Humane Society workers were at the shelter working and some of the staff still hadn't located all their family and friends. The southern half of Joplin is gone.
Fears expressed is that everyone is geared up now to help but they are OK right now. Next week is when supplies are going to be running low. We need to start collecting for then....not now. As we stood at the Joplin shelter, supplies were piling up in the front lobby... next week it will be gone but the animals will still be there and will still be coming in. The size of this warehouse is indescribable and next week it will be FULL of animals needing blankets, towels, their cages cleaned, etc.