American Humane Association awarded a $1,000 Red Star Emergency Grant for repairs to the Warwick Animal Shelter in Warwick, R.I., after a March flood destroyed many businesses and homes in the city. The shelter was completely submerged under the floodwaters, as the nearby river rose to unprecedented levels. Virtually everything in the shelter -- including the community room for cats, records dating back many years, and all of their equipment and supplies -- was destroyed, except for some stainless steel holding cages. The floodwaters rose so quickly that shelter staff only had time to get the animals to safety.
“We hope that the Warwick Animal Shelter is able to rebuild quickly so they can continue their important work,” said Debrah Schnackenberg, American Humane Association’s vice president of Animal Protection. “When disasters strike, it is wonderful to see the community band together to help rebuild, as we are seeing in Warwick.”
A brutal winter storm brought hazardous high winds to Gila County, Ariz., on Dec. 7, 2009, causing major damage to the Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCA) in Payson. Ten of the approximately 60 dogs staying in the kennels of the shelter were victimized by the unusually fierce storm, as high winds ripped off the roof of their kennels, exposing them to whirling sleet, wind and debris.
While no dogs were injured, the wind also destroyed two evaporative coolers, damaged some electrical wiring (causing a blackout in parts of the shelter) and demolished a storage shed.
American Humane Association awarded a $500 Red Star Emergency Grant to the HSCA to cover the shelter’s insurance deductible so repairs can begin. “We hope that our grant will help them with some of the expenses they face,” said Debrah Schnackenberg, vice president of American Humane Association’s Animal Protection Division. “We know that the Humane Society of Central Arizona will be working toward the goal of building a new shelter, and we hope that this money will assist the animals in having a safe place to live until they find their forever homes.”
American Humane Association is currently seeking additional funds to be able to provide grants to organizations like HSCA when unforeseeable disasters put animals at risk; grants are available based on resources and the generosity of the organization’s donors. Learn more about how to donate online.
On Nov. 1, 2009, a devastating fire killed more than 100 animals at Centex Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Shelter in Killeen, Texas. The fire, which began Sunday morning, is believed to be electrical in nature, possibly originating from an appliance in the shelter’s kitchen. None of the animals were burned, but one-third of the shelter’s animal population died from smoke inhalation. Twelve animals that survived the blaze had to be euthanized because of injuries they suffered, something that was extremely difficult for workers and volunteers.
American Humane Association provided a $1,000 Red Star Emergency Grant to the Second Chance Animal Shelter to help care for the surviving animals. Shelter officials say the shelter will be rebuilt.
“We are very saddened by this tragedy and hope that our grant will help them with some of the expenses they face,” said Debrah Schnackenberg, vice president of American Humane Association’s Animal Protection Division. “We know they are working toward having a sprinkler system installed, and we believe that all shelters should be equipped with sprinkler systems so tragedies like this can be avoided.”
On May 1, 2009, the Haskell County Sheriff’s Department in Sublette, Kan., received an anonymous tip that there were some malnourished horses on a farm in the northern part of the county. Deputy Donnie Grant and Dr. Dave Sjeklocha of the Haskell County Animal Hospital went to the farm, where they found 30 horses being kept in small pens. The majority of the pens were less than 40 feet in diameter, and each housed one to four horses. Although every pen had a water tank and feeder, most of the feeders were empty and the water tanks were dirty, with one containing a dead bird. Judging by the manure buildup in the pens, along with the hoof condition of the horses, it was clear that the horses had not been out of their pens for several months, if not longer. The owner of the horses lived approximately 30 miles from the farm, and neighbors reported seeing the owner taking care of the horses only once a week.
Although approximately half the horses were in what could be considered good body condition, the rest ranged from thin to nearly emaciated, and one stallion had to be humanely euthanized after being found down in his pen.
The horses were confiscated and taken to a horse farm near Sublette, Kan. Upon arrival, they were fed good quality grass hay and observed closely for several days. Judging by the fighting between the horses, it was clear that they were accustomed to having to fight for their feed, with the dominant horse in each pen getting its share of feed while the rest usually went hungry.
On May 9, the horses were taken to the Haskell County Fairgrounds and restrained in the rodeo arena’s bucking chutes while they were tranquilized so they could be dewormed and have their feet trimmed, vaccinations administered and teeth floated. The horses then returned to the horse farm, where they have been growing accustomed to having ample feed and slowly gaining weight.
American Humane Association provided a $2,000 Red Star Emergency Grant to the Haskell County Sheriff’s Department to assist with the horses’ care. In addition, members of the community have offered their time and labor -- as well as free or low-cost hay, veterinary services, boarding, hoof trimming, transportation and other services and supplies -- to help the horses grow strong and healthy.