Feb 22, 2021
On Saturday, my cat program supervisor reached out to our crew to see who’d be enthusiastic about volunteering to remain at a resort close to APA!’s City Lake Animal Middle (TLAC) campus. There was a winter storm on its manner they usually wanted a skeleton crew to help with onsite cat look after a few days. I used to be off and by no means in my life would I flip down a free resort keep and a few OT!
Being a reformed Yankee who’s no stranger to winters lasting 4+ months/yr, I jumped on the probability at staying in a soft Hyatt room to assist with caring for our purr-nuggets. Shortly after, I used to be tapped to affix our emergency response job pressure to assist with coordinating donations/ sources onsite and throughout the group, – comprising largely of my skilled heroes that I noticed talking on the AmPA! convention and I’ve engaged with in passing in Human-Animal Help Providers (HASS) working teams. Below regular circumstances, that is the stuff I LIVE for!
Sunday went in addition to it might have. Actually, NOT THE WORST VALENTINE’S DAY I’ve ever had! Conferences at 9 am and a pair of pm set for the remainder of the week to check-in. The Emergency Response FB group was created to facilitate getting provides hyper-locally distributed all through the group. Kitties all fed, medicated, cleaned up, and arrange with heating pads. After that was squared away by early afternoon, I hopped proper into gathering donated provides for residents courageous sufficient to enterprise to TLAC to select up litter, crates, and blankets for his or her neighbors.
At round 2 am Monday morning, the facility went out. The campus was darkish and we (a skeleton crew of about 2 folks per crew) rallied to look after the 120+ cats and canines – most of us with restricted to no cellular phone service to speak with our distant help groups or family members. We constructed forts out of the kitty shelving with towels draping over the enclosures to maintain warmth in. Later that day a water pipe burst, leaving us with one more hurdle. Monday night time, I arrived again on campus the place mills had been set as much as join house heaters to all rooms containing our pups and kitties. Our trustworthy chief, Dr. J (nope, not calling her Ellen but), her husband, and 4 good sams who braved the roads to carry provides and keep to assist with setup had been those tackling this effort.
Tuesday, nonetheless with out energy however AT LEAST heaters within the animal rooms, it was bottled water being shared between the canines, cats, and people onsite. Outdoors was miserably chilly and moist; I didn’t pack or put together for this. Individuals nonetheless had been coming on-site needing provides in order that’s what wanted to be performed. A pair got here onsite to donate bottled water and the lady requested what else our crew may want. I VERY JOKINGLY supplied a commerce of a kitten for some dry socks or gloves. She gave me the gloves she was carrying and insisted that I take them. One other level for humanity.
Wednesday morning, we get the information….TLAC has energy! And a smidge of flooding…however POWER, DANG IT! A few of the bushes have fallen round campus and a number of other tarps are torn…nonetheless no working water. On high of cat care and working provides, I set to work alongside the superb clinic squad to assist with a bladder expression video for our superb incontinent kitty fosters/adopters and delivering foster meds. This will not sound tremendous glamorous, however studying what different groups know builds exceptional respect for his or her hustle. The med squad obtained to have a parvo pup slumber get together at their resort room. I’ve volunteered within the parvo ward for the previous couple of months so I used to be fairly jealous. We additionally obtained the hook up on a home-cooked vegan meal on the resort that night time. One thing I promise to NEVER take as a right ever once more.
Thursday, after wrapping up on cat care duties, I did a Fb reside on the present state of issues on-site. Bought photobombed by a number of kittens within the course of. In collaboration with Deep Eddy Vodka, Lick It Up Avenue Tacos, and Feather’s Boutique we obtained a supply of mouthwatering vegan burritos. Beginning to really feel a little bit human once more! Donations nonetheless coming in and going out… the group has been inspirational. One other good samaritan got here by way of with a few heat trays of tacky bread bites simply as another person was bringing in two 3 day previous kittens that they’d discovered.
Friday, I checked in with the clinic crew in regards to the state of the kittens. It seems that they’d a nursing mother additionally of their resort room who immediately welcomed them as surrogates. Pleasure doesn’t cowl the sensation that overcame me that morning. That is actually the inspiration that makes this messy nightmare of per week worthwhile. Within the afternoon, plumbers donated their time to assist get the water working onsite once more. I used to be relieved of my onsite duties as different employees/volunteers had been capable of be a part of the cost at TLAC. 1.2K members on the Fb group and 800+ emails for donation help later, it was time to pack up and at last go dwelling.
We won’t thank Lucy sufficient for her superb dedication to Austin Pets Alive! and for ensuring the cats stayed protected and heat. We’re humbled by all of our employees, volunteers, and group members that helped us courageous the chilly climate disaster. Our mission is not doable with out each single certainly one of their assist. To everybody that got here to our help, from the very backside of our hearts, THANK YOU!