UPDATE: Local shelter helping house displaced hurricane dogs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Local shelter helping house displaced hurricane dogs

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 7:39 AM -04:00 Updated:

UPDATE: The Humane Educational Society (HES) is working overtime, getting ready to welcome some new additions. Staff and volunteers have put up a large tent as a temporary shelter.

Director Bob Citrullo says dozens of adoptable dogs are on the way from shelters in North and South Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall.

"We're setting it up in shifts. There will be volunteers here 24/7 helping us with this temporary shelter," says Citrullo. "Our job will be to make sure they [the dogs] stay safe, secure, sound."

Citrullo is expecting up to 80 dogs at some point, with 20 of them arriving Thursday night. Each animal will have a crate, water bowl, and food bowl, and their health will be assessed. They will also get plenty of play time to make them feel comfortable.

Volunteer Alexia Johannes is making the trip to Greenville, South Carolina, along with her furry friend, "Willie Banks", to rescue the dogs.

"The dogs that we're bringing out of crisis are often times terrified. They don't understand what's going on," explains Johannes. "So, he [Willie] serves as a marker, a cue to them that, hey, these people are safe, they're good."

HES took in animals last year during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and is happy to help again. However, they only have enough supplies to get started and will need more.

"We're asking the community to get involved like they did a year ago. We need paper towels, regular bath towels, we need food," adds Citrullo.

Portable air conditioners will be set up, but Citrullo also needs a few large floor fans and many other donated items.

More InformationNeeded Dog Items

They'll also need help finding new homes for the animals.

"If you really want to help us make some space, and you have your house and your heart open to a new best friend, this is a great time to do it."

Adoption fees for current HES animals not coming from Greenville have been reduced in an attempt to make room. Call HES at 423-624-5302 for details.

Also, if you would like to donate dog food, Citrullo asks that you buy Sports Mix brand "Wholesome Chicken & Rice" available at Stockdale's and Tractor Supply.

For more information on how to donate to Humane Educational Society click here.


PREVIOUS STORY: Just after midnight, animals from the Greenville, South Carolina animal care center arrived and are currently being processed. 

The rescued animals traveled more than 200 miles.

McKamey Animal Center is one of the few shelters that had a mobile unit in place to where they were able to retrieve the pets and return to Tennessee without having to wait on the evacuation shelter.

The Greenville animal care center is acting as a hub. From there, it chooses where the animals will be distributed, with McKamey being one of those destinations.

According to McKamey's executive director, the shelter took in 18 large dogs and about eight cats. 

Per procedure, these animals still have to be vaccinated, de-wormed, and go through a complete check to see if they have any sort of injuries, but reportedly the animals are in pretty good shape.

"These aren't animals that don't have owners. These are animals that are already at shelters and their times were up and they were available for adoptions, so they were emptying out all those shelters so they can make room for any of the animals that were lost during the hurricane," said Jamie McAloon, executive director of McKamey. 

Tuesday, McKamey successfully found about 30 homes for animals already at the shelter here in Tennessee, but say they won't be able to take any more animals until they can make more room through adoptions

The animals from South Carolina will be ready for adoption as early as this weekend. For those who have to be spayed or neutered, those animals may have to wait an additional four days.  

This is not the first time the shelters have helped animals displaced by a hurricane. Both organizations helped after hurricanes Harvey and Irma and said they are even more prepared this year.

Both shelters are taking donations, monetary and supplies. Supplies can be sent to the shelters or brought in. 

For more information on how to donate to McKamey Animal Center click here.

For more information on how to donate to Humane Educational Society click here.

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