Module 7: Get to Know a Shelter

Emergency Shelters

Not all shelters are built to last. Trained teams of emergency responders have the capability of setting up temporary shelters for hundreds of animals in just a few hours. Large shelters are needed when disaster strikes, whether it’s a natural disaster, a mass cruelty case, a hoarding intervention, or an infectious disease outbreak.

Many veterinary schools have a response team capable of deploying veterinary units when mission requests are received. At UF, students can join the college’s UF Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service (UFVETS) team to help with local and statewide animal rescues. Many students also sign up to deploy with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to assist in large-scale animal cruelty and disaster responses.


Temporary Emergency Animal Shelters

Woman in hazmat suit plays with cats in emergency shelter.
At a quarantine center in Queens for cats exposed to a rare strain of avian flu, workers must wear full protective gear at all times, even playtime.

Avian Influenza Virus: 500 Cats

By Andy Newman

In an industrial corner of Queens on Monday, on the second floor of a cavernous warehouse, in a gated-off area known as Pod C, a worker in a hazmat suit, goggles and a respirator mask sat on the floor of a metal cell.

She held a colored string with a ball dangling from it. With the other hand, she petted a cat. “Psswsswss,” the woman said through the mask. The cat arched its back against her latex-gloved hand.

All around her, other workers in hazmat suits attended to other cats, playing, feeding them, changing their litter. A bigger room downstairs held hundreds more, many of whom had the sniffles.

This scene, like something out of a post-apocalyptic cat video, is now playing daily at a temporary quarantine center the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opened on Dec. 29 to house the entire feline population of New York City’s shelter system, some 500 cats.    Read more . . .


Two cats peer from wire cages.
Cats seized from a cat sanctuary were held for two months in a warehouse in Gainesville, Florida.

Cat Hoarding Case: 700 cats

By Karen Voyles

The next chapter is about to begin in what some have called the nation’s largest cat hoarding case.

According to Alachua County officials, Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz have surrendered the hundreds of cats seized earlier this summer from their Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary near High Springs.

Since the nearly 700 cats were seized, they have been held at a warehouse while their legal status was determined. County officials said the Lefkowitzes’ decision to surrender the animals means the cats will soon be available for adoption.    Read more . . .


Pit bill chained to a barrel for a doghouse
This dog was one of 367 dogs seized in a dogfighting investigation.

Dog-Fighting Case: 367 dogs

By Clair Aiello

Animal rescue groups worked with law enforcement agencies in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to seize 367 dogs on Friday, August 23. It’s believed to be the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.

The Humane Society of the United States and The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) worked with police departments in several cities, in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Law enforcement agencies served 13 search warrants on Friday morning in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. They arrested 10 people who were indicted on felony dog fighting charges. Federal and local officials also seized firearms and drugs and more than $500,000 in cash from dog fighting and gambling activities.    Read more . . .


Dogs wait in wire cages in an emergency shelter
600 pets were rescued following a tornado in Joplin Missouri and brought to a temporary shelter established by the ASPCA emergency response team.

600 Pets: Tornado

By Arthur Jeon

A chocolate lab who washed into a storm drain lost all her toenails desperately trying to claw out from the rising water. Another dog is wandering the streets with deep lacerations from flying glass still embedded in her side. These are just two pets whose post-tornado circumstances have changed for the better this week, thanks to well-organized animal rescue organizations mobilized in Joplin. Approximately 600 pets have been rescued following the tornado that devastated the Missouri town, which is said to be the biggest in the nation’s history.

Picture Story of Joplin Temporary Animal Shelter

by Charlie Riedel Associated Press, see more . . .




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