COLORADO SPRINGS — Hundreds of pets have been evacuated from Hurricane Ida's path, and one local organization is stepping up to help them out.
Four volunteers and one staff member from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s (HSPPR) Community Animal Response Team (CART) deployed to Tennessee this week at the request of the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The CART Team is aiding disaster relief efforts by helping set up an emergency shelter to provide animal care for homeless dogs and cats displaced by Hurricane Ida.
"Our job at this location is to stay on standby, to have a nice safe space for animals that need to come up here," said Samantha Kirby, Community Animal Response Team manager.
She is one of the five deployed to the Tennessee area to help.
"Our team is here to build a temporary housing space that is in a really safe location away from the affected area," said Kirby.
She says her team was fortunate enough to get an ideal building in a good area.
"There was a rescue in this area willing to remove their stuff out of the space and let us use their building. Their actual rescue building," said Kirby.
As they remain on stand awaiting instructions, Kirby says she's grateful to join other organizations mobilizing to help those in need.
"Everybody wants to do something that matters. Not only is our job to jump in and help when it happens the most, but I feel so fortunate and blessed to be a part of a team that is mostly volunteers who devote their time and kindness," said Kirby.
“It is very important to us to be able to help provide care for homeless dogs and cats displaced by Hurricane Ida,” said HSPPR President and CEO Duane Adams. “We are so grateful for all the help and support we received while caring for animals displaced by natural disasters in Colorado’s history, so of course we didn’t hesitate when the call for help came on this occasion. Our hearts go out to the impacted communities that are still recovering after the devastation of Ida, and we are so glad we have the opportunity to make a difference by providing much-needed housing and care to vulnerable animals.”
Anyone interested in helping with relief efforts can donate or become a volunteer of the Community Animal Response Team through the HSPPR website.