People from as far away as New York and Connecticut are lending a hand to help animals affected by the Alabama tornadoes last week.
New York Times' best-selling author Gwen Cooper, who wrote "Homer's Odyssey" about a blind kitten she rescued 16 years ago, wanted to help after learning about the devastated areas in the state.
She knows from personal experience what it's like to be separated from her three cats.
Cooper, of New York, fled the city from her work place near the World Trade Center when 911 happened. She had left enough food and water for the day for her cats -- Homer, Scarlett and Vashti -- thinking she would be home in her 31st floor apartment by that evening.
But hours turned into days and a frantic Cooper, who only had the clothes on her back, had done everything in her power to reach the cats to no avail. She worried her apartment windows had been blown out. Being blind, Homer would have no idea how far down it was if he stepped on the window sill.
After about four days, she finally convinced a police officer to let her through the barricade. She had to walk up 31 flights of stairs carrying litter, water, and carriers.
"It was much easier coming down than going up," said Cooper with a laugh.
After her horrifying ordeal, she empathize with pet owners who are going through a disaster.
She contacted Canant Animal Hospital in Tuscaloosa to ask if she could raise money to help animals which have been displaced or injured in the storm.
"I could not believe someone from New York wanted to help," said Dr. Paul Bronold, a veterinarian who moved to Tuscaloosa a month ago from Nashville. "I had no idea who she was, but Gwen said she wanted to help raise money and write a story about what happened here."
"I hope people will continue to donate," she said. "After being without my cats during 911, I know what it's like. Not knowing what has happened to your pets is awful and unthinkable. You don't know what has happened to them or whether they are injured or not. It is important for me to think of people in similar situations. I will never forget it and now the first thing I think about (during a disaster) are the pets."
She said she hasn't forgotten their owners, either, and other people affected by the storms that left thousands homeless and killed scores across several states. She has also donated to the Red Cross and urges others who want to donate to people causes to do so.
"When you help pets, you help humans," she said.
Bronold said he plans on using the money to replace medications and supplies he and his colleagues, Dr. Jimmy Canant and Dr. Lucy Roberts, have used in treating the dozens of animals they have taken in who came from storm-ravaged areas.
"We've been treating all the animals free because they ones who bring them in can't afford it because they've lost everything, or a Good Samaritan who has found the animal brings them in," said Bronold.
He also plans to use the money to purchase food for animals displaced by the storms. The clinic is also accepting donations of food and other pet supplies. Items may be brought to the clinic at 1100 Rice Valley Road. For more information or drop-off times, call 205-758-7295
In Connecticut, the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is working with a group of veterinarians there who are preparing to receive 150 shelter dogs that would otherwise be euthanized to make room for the storm dogs.
The veterinarians are volunteering their services and providing all vetting at no cost, said Rhonda Parker, chair of Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation.
"They will be sending two buses to Alabama very soon and are hoping to retrieve dogs from Lawrence and Colbert counties," said Parker. "They will also take dogs from the Tuscaloosa shelter if that shelter is overwhelmed. They are trying to identify the areas hit hardest by the storms.
The Animal Rescue Shelter of Lawrence County is coordinating the effort with the Connecticut veterinarians.
PetSmart Charities has dispatched seven Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicles and trained volunteers to Memphis where the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is operating emergency animal shelters and distributing supplies to disaster areas.
The Emergency Relief Waggin' is stocked with $60,000 worth of crucial supplies to aid pets and emergency rescue teams, including food, crates, carriers, kennels, bowls, leashes, fans, a generator and other items.
Conservative efforts show that 7,000 dogs, cats and horses have already been injured or displaced from their homes which have been affected by flooding or tornadoes throughout the South and Midwest, according to PetSmart spokesperson Jordan Shelton. For more information on PetSmart Charities visit www.PetSmartcharities.org/emergency-relief.
This photo spoke volumes to me today as I came across this photo
I call it
I survived The Alabama Tornado of 2011 in Tuscaloosa
FORT WORTH -- After a 15-hour trip from Alabama, 6-month-old Adele wants to join a Texas family.
A mix of border collie and Labrador retriever, Adele was among about 85 dogs evacuated to Fort Worth this week because of the April 27 tornadoes that tore through the Southeast, destroying hundreds of homes.
All the dogs were already available for adoption at animal shelters in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. But after the tornadoes hit, the dogs needed to be moved to make space for lost or injured dogs while officials work to reunite pets with owners, said Stephanie Wilson, a clinic technician and foster transport coordinator at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.
For now, the dogs are under the care of the Humane Society of North Texas and are available for adoption.
Charles Thompson, who works in the Fort Worth group's animal cruelty and rescue department, brought a load of dogs from Tuscaloosa to Fort Worth on Sunday. On Tuesday, Kay Mayfield, executive director of the Austin-based Texas Animal Resource Team, transported a second load from Birmingham in a 36-foot climate-controlled trailer.
The Alabama dogs are being housed together in a newly renovated room at the Fort Worth shelter. Officials there gave names to dogs without monikers. Ten canines have already been adopted.
To help others find new homes, the society is taking some dogs to adoption events at Mayfest. Others, including Adele, are being transferred to the Southwest Adoption Center, said Shelly Meeks, adoptions coordinator.
"It makes my heart feel good when they leave," Meeks said. "I've been calling them the 'Alabama 85.' I would like it to be the 'Alabama zero.'"
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326
I want to send out a "Huge thank you"
to all the sister states that have come to our aid in this
So to all of North Texas come adopt today and add them on facebook
Hello my name is Terri Davis Animal Advocate here in Alabama and my heart is torn in more ways then one. I was lucky my home and animals was spared this past week as thousands of families lost their entire life in less then a minute . So many people have died and lost pets. Farmers have lost livestock its just mind blowing. As the tornado come through Tuscaloosa about two hours away I knew it was coming right for us. I sat here in disbelief as I watched it go over Birmingham and take out Pratt City then it kept coming . It hit down in Moody Alabama then it jumped over me here in what use to be Branchville and went on to totally wipe out Shoal Creek Valley . The loss of life is just unreal . I have been out there on Co. Road 22 and I've seen for my own eyes . I have talked with families and hoped to be able to bring the message to you today. Mothers and children have died ,Fathers. its just more then the heart can bare. On that day I walked up out of the storm shelter we we're in and the storm was right over us baring its ugly face like Satan himself. I knew people where injured and dying and there was nothing I could do. In places its like a war zone that will take years to rebuild. Please keep us in your prayers the amount of help that has came to Alabama is mind blowing but there are so many people that still need emergency help that are being over looked because the amount of damage is so wide spread throughout Alabama .
If you can help please contact red cross
200 tornado's touched down that day with all its fury took out lives and everything in its path
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) - — This is an NBC33 News update: The Judge ruled today that the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cannot issue a new permit for the ownership of Tony the Truck Stop Tiger. The Department will also be held responsible for finding Tony a new home. We will have more on this story on NBC33 News at 5 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: Lawyers for the national non profit Animal Legal Defense Fund are fighting to free Tony, a 10 year old Siberian Bengal tiger, who is kept at a truck stop in Grosse Tete. ALDF says the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries violated the state law, when they granted a permit to Tony's owner Michael Sandlin. ALDF will aruge that Tony should be released to the custody of ALDF or to an accredited animal sanctuary. Tony has been at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2000. We'll have more details tonight on NBC33 News at 5 and 10.
As most of you have heard my home state of Alabama was hit hard by Tornado's across our state.Hundreds of people have died as well as thousands of animals .This is a Urgent plea for help and we must act fast to save the ones we can. Shelters across the state are receiving lots of animals that have been found across the region and lots of animals will be euthanized to make room for the new ones coming in. I will post important info you will find helpful so you can help us get these dogs urgent care. Thank you so much for your love and support during this tragic time.
Lost and Found Animals - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has set up a disaster relief unit in Birmingham to coordinate lost and found pets in the Central Alabama area. Call 1-205-397-8534 (hours: 8am-5pm) to report an animal lost or found. They are coordinating with local shelter/rescue groups around the area.
Local Animal Control officers who find/rescue pets in the storm-damaged areas will be taking those pets to Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter on 35th Street. You can go to Metro Shelter to check on pets (they recommend you come down MKL to 35th rather than try to come down 35th from I359). They will report all the found animals they have to the HSUS disaster unit central number, so you should call that number first. You can also email lost/found pet information to the Humane Society of West Alabama at lostandfound@HumaneSocietyofWA.orgwe will publish what information we have. Please DO NOT bring any stray or homeless animals directly to any of the Humane Society operation sites, we do not have facilities for accepting such animals!! Found animals should be taken to Metro Animal Shelter, so they have a chance to get back with their families.
Pet Supplies - The Humane Society is collecting pet supplies and helping distribute those supplies where needed in the disaster areas and temporary shelters. We especially need: wire crates of all sizes, pet carriers, pet beds and clean bedding, pet food and bowls, cat litter and litter pans, and collars and leashes.The Flea Market at 3201 Main Ave in Northport will be open all this week, Monday-Friday 10-5 to accept donations of pet items and cash donations (no credit/debit cards), and to distribute supplies to those in need. Call the Flea Market at 205-339-3331 for current information on what we need and where we need it.
Donations:We ALWAYS need money. You can donate through paypal (see link at the left of this page), or by mailing a check to our Adoption Center or Flea Market, or by bringing your pet items or cash or check (no credit/debit cards) to our Flea Market in Northport during the collection hours shown above. We currently have over 60 animals in our care awaiting adoption, 40-50 animals acquired since the storm who are not available for adoption, and we are also still caring for the animals rescued in February in Pickens County, none of whom are released for adoption by the court. We are also assisting Metro Animal Shelter, Tuscaloosa's site for stray and found animals. If you wish to help us with our ongoing rescue and adoption operations, please consider a donation. We also need foster homes. If you can help with temporary care for a homeless animal,please contact us, or fill out and mail our foster information/application. (See link at left.)
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to our ongoing animal rescue and storm recovery efforts.
Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control Services is currently in the field assisting with animal relief efforts. If you have lost or found a pet, please call 205-397-8534 or visit the BJCAC facility at 6227 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212. Please do not leave a voicemail. THIS NUMBER IS NOW ALSO TO BE USED FOR TUSCALOOSA COUNTY LOST AND FOUND PETS!!