Local News

Orange County Animal Shelter Still Struggling With Loss Of Power

Posted December 12, 2002

— Generators are all that is keeping the Orange County Animal Shelter afloat, but it is still not enough. The damage has already been done. The loss of electricity has left them with big losses and little power to care for the county's animals.

"We have everybody possible squished up into these runs up front," said Laura Walters, of the Orange County Animal Shelter.

A generator is keeping a few kennels warm, but the majority of them, about 70, are cold and dark.

"The conditions here were so bad. They were cold and wet and dark. We couldn't clean properly, having to use flashlights," Walters said.

Fortunately, when animal lovers found out the power was off, they came in to foster nearly 150 animals.

"If the community hadn't of come forward and taken care of all these animals, we probably would had to do a lot of euthanasia," Walters said. "There's no way some of the animals could have withstood some of the conditions in here."

When the shelter lost power, they also lost about $6,000 in vaccines and medications, but that is not all. Some of the freezers containing cat and dog carcasses euthanized before the storm, lost power . The shelter has to freeze the dead animals before the landfill accepts them.

"They're not frozen and they're thawed out and it's a nasty situation," Walters said.

Walters said there is no place for the dead animals and no room for any new animals until the power is restored.

"When we have emergencies at night, we respond like animals hit by a car, deer accidents like that, we have no way of euthanizing them and we don't have any way to treat them because of the dark," Walters said.

There is a bright spot from the winter storm. Many of the people who fostered animals have decided to adopt them. The shelter still needs blankets and towels until the power is turned on. They are holding a 36-hour Adopt-A-Thon this weekend from 11 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Saturday.

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