As soon as we heard about the potential impact of Hurricane Florence on North Carolina shelters, we moved into high gear to open our Rescue & Rehab Center early. This center in Georgetown, DE, was set to open early next year to help animals needing a little more support for adoption – cruelty victims, newborns/infants, dogs needing behavior modification, animals at risk at other shelters, and animals displaced by disasters.
With a lot of hard work and generous donations, we were ready and receiving animals in a few days. Our national partner Best Friends Animal Society looped us in right away to meet the most urgent needs through their shelter network in the Carolinas.
To date, we’ve helped 239 dogs and cats that were in shelters before the storm. We first drove to Fayetteville, NC, to transport of more than 100 animals when the Cumberland County shelter flooded. We then took another 100+ animals from the Pitt County and Guilford County shelters, with the latter supported by a very generous transport lift from Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary.
These shelters needed to move animals in the shelter before the storm so they could intake pets rescued during the storm. A very important part of this initiative has been keeping pets lost in the storm in their local area to hopefully be reunited with their families.
We’re basically running a fourth shelter on the staff we use for three, so the help we’ve gotten to make this rescue effort happen has been essential in being able to impact so many lives. The BVSPCA staff and volunteers pushed themselves extra hard to make this rescue mission work. It’s rewarding but exhausting work. One said it’s the best exhausted feeling he ever had.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to North Florida Animal Rescue (NFAR), our friends and heroes who drove transport for us, helped intake hundreds of animals, and stayed hands-on with our staff and volunteers to care for the animals for more than a week. We also had invaluable support from the Delaware Animal Response team for intakes and animal care.
Our suppliers and funding partners also stepped up in a big way. GreaterGood.org donated vaccines, food and 250 kongs. Hill’s, which supplies Science Diet to us through their shelter program, made a big food donation for the center. And businesses throughout the community have held incredible donation drives.
Teamwork really made the hurricane relief dream work. So far 185 animals have been either adopted or transferred to partners who will help place them.We have 43 animals remaining in the center, quite a few moms and kittens out in foster for the kittens to reach adoption age, and a lot of dogs at our New Castle Campus for adoption.
One of the biggest contributions comes from VCA. 19 VCA hospitals in the tri-state area are adopting out our hurricane rescue cats!
We also had amazing support from shelters and rescues in the Northeast. The following groups pulled animals to help the large number of rescues move quickly into homes:
DE: Delaware Humane Association (DHA), Delaware SPCA, Faithful Friends, Grass Roots Rescue
NJ: Animal Welfare Association (AWA)
PA: Pennsylvania SPCA, Providence Animal Center
VT: Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society
VA: Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Heritage Humane Society, Peninsula SPCA, Portsmouth Humane Society.
How You Can Help
We took on this disaster relief effort because helping as many animals as possible is always the right thing to do. It didn’t come without significant cost. Donate today to help support this important work. And if you have room in your heart and home for a fur-friend, stop by one of our locations to adopt. We can only do the work we do thanks to you!
More than 100 animals expected to arrive on Tuesday from first rescue deployment in collaboration with Best Friends Animal Society.
GEORGETOWN, DE (September 17, 2018) – The Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA) today announced it has opened its Rescue & Rehab Center early to serve as an evacuation hub for shelter animals displaced by Hurricane Florence. The first arrivals will come from a BVSPCA deployment team sent to evacuate the Cumberland County Animal Services shelter in Fayetteville, NC, in partnership with Best Friends Animal Society.
The Cumberland County shelter moved its more than 100 animals to the local fairgrounds yesterday due to threatening flood waters from local rivers. The BVSPCA deployed a team of six people and three vehicles early this morning to pick up the adoptable animals and relocate them to the Rescue & Rehab Center. The animals should arrive at the center in Georgetown early tomorrow afternoon.
The BVSPCA team will intake and evaluate the animals. Intake and animal care will be performed by BVSPCA staff and volunteers with assistance from Delaware Animal Response (DAR) volunteers. Within a few days, the animals will move to other partners in the Best Friends network to be adopted, including several shelters in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
Tomorrow’s intake will be the first in what is expected to be several weeks of work at the Rescue & Rehab Center. Many shelters in North Carolina are experiencing flooding, and others need to move out their adoptable animals to make room for rescued family pets. (All pets relocated from North Carolina to the BVSPCA Rescue & Rehab Center will be adoptable animals. No stray animals or family pets will be removed from their local area through this initiative.)
The BVSPCA purchased the Rescue & Rehab Center on June 9, 2018, at auction and coincidentally closed on the property today. The 11,500 square foot facility sits on 13 acres on Shingle Point Road in Georgetown, DE. Depending on the progress of fundraising to complete repairs and renovations, the center should open early next year. In the meantime, the facility has sufficient infrastructure to serve this emergency purpose.
“As soon as the risk to shelters in the Carolinas became apparent, we moved into high gear to secure supplies and prepare the Rescue & Rehab Center,” said Adam Lamb, BVSPCA Chief Executive Officer. “We purchased the facility in part for needs exactly like this, and we’re proud to be chosen by Best Friends to join the leadership team saving lives following Hurricane Florence.”
“Best Friends Animal Society is extremely grateful to the Brandywine Valley SPCA for stepping up and providing leadership and expertise to help animals in the Carolinas through this extremely difficult and trying ordeal,” said Mark Peralta, Best Friends Animal Society Senior Director of National No-kill Advancement. “Brandywine is the perfect partner to bring much-needed supplies down to the Carolinas, provide leadership and organization for groups we are looking to help while continuing pulling up shelter animals who are ready for adoption to make room for displaced animals looking for their owners and alleviate some of the stress on organizations who were ravaged by hurricane Florence.”
The public can assist in this important rescue work in several ways:
• Adopt an animal from a BVSPCA location to make space for hurricane victims: www.bvspca.org/adopt
• Sign up to foster pets identified during intake that need a bridge to be ready for adoption: www.bvspca.org/foster
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