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Call for Help Coming from Area Animal Shelters

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TARBORO — Dogs and cats that survived Hurricane Floyd are packing shelters from Greenville to Raleigh. County facilities and volunteers are being stretched to the limit and are calling out for help.

If they could speak, some survivors of Hurricane Floyd would have interesting tales to tell.

"We've actually had pets jump off of logs and roofs into the water and into the rescue boats," says Howard White of the American Humane Society.

The animals' lives are still in the hands of heroes. Members of VMAT, or Veterinary Medical Assistance Team, have come in from all parts of the country to check on the animals.

VMAT members check for parasites the pets may have from drinking contaminated water.

Space is at a premium at the Tarboro Animal Shelter where some dogs have to double up in cages.

A few days ago, an outdoor area next to the shelter was overgrown and unused; today it has been transformed into a temporary shelter.

The Humane Society of the United States sent relief teams to help county and state animal control officers.

As the number of rescued pets continues to climb, they are looking for more space to house the animals and more volunteers to care for them.

Volunteers are needed to help clean kennels, feed the animals and help with processing.

"We're really desperate to get people helping. You can come down and wash bowls, you can walk the dog. If you can help us anywhere, we'd be thrilled," says White.

Penny Kennon of Tarboro is doing more than just giving her time. Last week, she rescued a cat and a dog from homelessness.

Some animals may never be reclaimed or adopted. That is the one thing these workers do not want to see happen.

"We have not had to euthanize any of the animals yet. God willing, we won't," says White.

The Humane Society says it will eventually place photos of the unclaimed animals on its Web site.

The Tarboro Animal Shelter is located on the 2900 block of Main Street. If you are interested in volunteering, just show up. Workers say they have plenty of work for you to do.