(EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE) TEXAS — On Sunday, a tornado struck Van, a town in eastern Texas, killing two people and injuring 43. This disaster not only resulted in human casualties, but it also destroyed a large percentage of the land, flattened homes, and led to flooding.
Efforts to recover the tornado victims have been ongoing. Texas Game Wardens from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, along with their K-9s are actively searching the Van area for people and pets who may be stuck under debris or in need of care.
Game Warden John Thorne recently stated:
“It’s very deliberate work in the sense that we’re trying to clear each and every one of these brush piles. There could be a victim in here that we wouldn’t be able to detect without the use of one of these dogs.”
Although search-and-rescue dogs are critical in helping people affected by the tornado, efforts have also been made to rescue animals who were tornado victims. While some families evacuated the area with their beloved pets, other pets were separated from their guardians in the midst of the disaster.
Two different rescue groups, Nicholas Pet Haven and Circle Star Rescue, are caring for pets who were separated from their families during the tragic event. These rescue groups are also helping pets surrendered by their guardians due to the severity of the disaster.
Animal rescue volunteers have informed individuals of the ongoing efforts to save the animals:
“If you have lost or found a dog in Van, Nicholas Pet Haven will be the rescue allowed to take animals out of the city and to an undisclosed location in Tyler. Circle Star Canine Rescue also known as Circle Star Pet Resort will be supporting us in rescue efforts in Van Zandt County. Dr. Gene Bennett and Sally Martin will be providing a safe haven for us to use while owners search for their pets. All injured dogs are being carried to Dr. Gary Spence in Tyler or Dr. Collins out of Edom.”
Doctors, volunteers, and pet lovers alike are working together to find, recover, and nurture these animal victims.
Lost and Found Cats and Dogs of Tyler, TX is a Facebook page devoted to promoting rescue efforts that will save pets in Van, Texas. Not only does the site specify locations to drop off pet supplies that will feed and house the animal victims, but it also lists animals who have been found. Lost and found efforts are crucial in helping abandoned animals find their families.
Efforts are being made to rescue animals–ranging from dogs and cats, to rabbits and horses–and return them to their loving guardians. Pet guardians who waited-out the storm remarked how they held their animals close to them in hopes of keeping them safe during the tragedy.
Although individuals are working hard to reunite lost pets with their guardians and provide care, you can also lend a helping hand by donating to the Nicholas Pet Haven.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to donate to the Nicholas Pet Haven to help offset the cost of rescuing animals from Van, Texas
>Remember, April-May is the busiest time of the year for twisters, and experts predict the worst of tornado season is only half over. In the event of an emergency, being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets.
Check out this excellent article for pet guardians on what we need to know and do—including a pet first aid checklist—to care for our furry family members in the event of an emergency.
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these deadly storms, and our appreciation and gratitude goes out to the countless volunteers who have donated their time and finances to help.
— Rebecca Hartt, exclusive to Global Animal