Thursday, September 29, 2005

9/29 - truckload going to MS

email from the president of the south carolina rescue involved with relief efforts - forwarded to me:

I wanted to take just a minute and thank all of our volunteers and members for the tremendous outpouring of donated items that were loaded and that are currently on the way to MS for disaster victims, both humane and animal.
I transported goods and cash donations to Landrum yesterday and assisted in getting everything packaged and ready to go. I was amazed at what had been accomplished. Local businesses had partnered to gather so many needed supplies for both people and animals. It was a wonderful testament of what can be accomplished when people pull together for a common goal.
Late yesterday afternoon, JoAnne Smythe from Greenville County Animal Control, answered the call to assist in gathering crates needed if we were to bring any animals back on the return trip to SC. She was able to borrow a good number of crates from the Greenville County Humane Society. I'm sure that JoAnne, Michelle and I were the topics of many conversations as we "sprawled" in the parking lot of a gas station/convenience store outside of Landrum trying to figure out how get the things put together! In the end, we ended up with a couple of "extra pieces", so I am absolutely sure that we didn't do something right somewhere, but the objective was accomplished, and we had some crates that will hold animals on the return trip if MS officials allow that to happen.
There is another really cool by-product of this trip that I wanted to share as well. Michelle responded to an e-mail for help coordinating the reunion of a woman currently in Atlanta that was separated from her three rotties. It seems that when Katrina struck, the woman sent her 3 Aussies and 3 Rotties to her daughter, who lives in TX. The woman's home in NO was lost. When Rita hit TX, the daughter (still in possession of all of the dogs) then lost her home. The daughter then relocated to another location in Slidell. They have been searching for a means of getting some of the dogs back to the mother in Atlanta ever since. Michelle responded to the e-mail that she would be passing through the area, less than 30 miles from Slidell and would be returning through Atlanta on Sunday. So, she will at the very least be accompanied by three huge rotties on her return trip home. Just a very cool thing to be able to help facilitate a reunion of an owner with their animals!
There have been many posts, blogs, e-mails all over the internet since these disasters took place, some in praise of the efforts of HSUS, and many that were very critical. Admittedly, some of them bothered me tremendously as well. This morning, I received this announcement from HSUS - an explanation from Wayne Parcell, the President of HSUS. Much of what he says makes a lot of sense. It's very easy to sit on the sidelines and see animals and people suffering, and point fingers as to who dropped the ball, who failed in their responsibilities and duties, but we also have to keep in mind that we are only seeing a thumbnail of what is taking place. The sidelines can be a very difficult place to be for many of us who like to be actively involved in the hands-on process, and many times, our frustrations distort our perception. There is no doubt that there are many things that could certainly have been done better overall. I hope that people will stop pointing fingers, acknowledge that we (collectively) are not prepared to be confronted with something of this magnitude, and look for ways to do things better. This should serve as a major wake up call for everyone. Again, phenomenal things can be accomplished if people are willing to set aside the need to assign blame, and just pull together to improve the way we do things.
This is going to be a tremendous need for a long time to come, and hopefully, we will not lose sight of the need for our assistance. The day will come when we will be the ones that asking for help, and we can only hope that there will be people out there willing to do the same for us!
Below is the link to the HSUS article if you would like to read it.