Millions of Gulf Coast residents and businesses have been left without power after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi this week. Animal shelters and rescue groups in those areas need to safely transport adoptable pets to other shelters because of the lingering effects of the hurricane, including loss of power and utilities, and to make room for the influx of lost and stray animals.
“We always need new fosters but especially at times like this,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Every animal who can be fostered frees up space in our shelter to accept rescues and still have room for the animals we take in daily as the official shelter for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. We stand in solidarity with the affected shelters as members of our national animal welfare community, and it is our responsibility to help neighbors in need.”
Anyone interested in fostering can visit young-williams.org to apply at the top of the home page. All necessary pet supplies will be provided, and there is no financial cost to foster families, just a time commitment. Fostering also provides important socialization for pets and takes them out of the stress of a shelter.
After the hurricane rescue animals arrive, Young-Williams Animal Center veterinarians will conduct a health evaluation before moving the pets to local emergency foster homes. The evacuated animals are expected to arrive within the next week.
In addition, Young-Williams Animal Center needs supplies for the evacuated animals. The list includes fleece blankets; collapsible wire dog crates; cat litter; reusable grocery totes and gallon Ziploc bags; and cat and dog toys.
All donations can be dropped off at Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., Knoxville, TN 37919. Monetary donations of any amount also can be made at young-williams.org/donations.