Safety sought for shelter animals

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

One of the most compelling stories from the storm is possibly that told by Ashley White, Director of the Bainbridge-Decatur Humane Society.

As many are aware, the buildings where the many stray and surrendered dogs and cats are housed is in disrepair. It often floods and has questionable structure stability.

Upon receiving news of the impending storm, White and all her workers and many community volunteers began working to find a safe temporary facility to house the animals.

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Postings seen on the shelter Facebook page explain how they contacted Decatur County School Superintendent Tim Cochran, who graciously permitted them to move and temporarily house the animals at the vacant Elcan-King Elementary School.

The call also went out for crates and carriers to house the animals, as well as transportation to move them. That is when people really stepped up.

Board president, Dennie Nichols has said, “The support that this community and the rescue world have shown our shelter has been overwhelming.” While White has said the efforts made on behalf of the society cannot be described. “It has been a truly humbling experience and I can only hope that we can repay the kindness shown to us by supporting and loving our community and all those in the rescue world.”

Amazingly, she reports the main building did not suffer major damage; however the brand new storage shed where all the food was kept, is now gone and the food lost.

After the storm, it then became a chore of moving the animals back to the shelter where there was no power and few windows.

She realized they needed a better choice for the animals where they could be in cleaner, more comfortable surroundings. “That is when our friends from other animal organizations and rescues stepped in,” explains White. As of Saturday, Oct. 13, the shelter became empty as all of the animals were safely moved to rescue by transport vehicles that showed up and took them all to a better place.

Of course, more animals will be coming in. Some who are displaced from the storm will be brought in by Animal Control and from those who have to surrender animals due to an inability to care for them now.

But in the meantime, White says she is relieved to having the shelter cleared while they try to become operational again.