(PRESS RELEASE)_PALM BEACH, FL — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, deployed to Eastern Kentucky last week in the wake of catastrophic flooding that killed dozens of people and displaced thousands of residents from their homes. American Humane’s Rescue Team rushed to the impacted area on one of its rescue trucks which was donated by internationally renowned philanthropist and Palm Beach resident, Lois Pope. This huge, 50-foot mobile rescue unit makes it possible for American Humane first responders to be on the ground and provide aid to animals and relief organizations in real time.
“Thanks to the compassion of Lois Pope, our dedicated team of first responders was able to answer the urgent call for help and deploy to Eastern Kentucky where they are saving countless animal lives,” said American Humane president and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “With the overwhelming generosity of our great friends like Lois, our Rescue Team is able to help bring relief to the people of Eastern Kentucky who are struggling to provide food and shelter to their pets.”
American Humane strategically stationed six rescue trailers across the United States that can deploy the Rescue Team anywhere disaster strikes the country within an impressive 24-hour time span. Each of the 50-foot trailers, complete with a Ford F-350 truck, are equipped to hold up to 100 animals and are utilized throughout the year, especially during the summer months when wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods occur all too frequently.
In Kentucky, Breathitt County residents Greg Stivers, his wife and their 11-year-old son were able to save themselves, their dogs and their newborn puppies. The family was at their home when the floodwaters quickly rose. They acted swiftly, putting the puppies in a cooler to float while they carried their soaking dogs up into the attic crawlspace as the water continued to rush inside their home. The family was able to get the dogs into the attic and save them, but the flooding never ceased. Greg, still barefoot, stepped on a hammer, which sparked quick-thinking action. He picked up the hammer from the raging water and busted a hole through the roof, where the family was able to escape. A rescue helicopter was soon hovering overhead, which took the family, but not their dogs. Immediately after the floodwaters receded, the family ran back to the home and saved the dogs and pups, which were close to heat exhaustion from being in the attic. They rescued their dogs and now are all rebuilding—together.
When asked about his experience with American Humane, Stivers said, “They came out to check on the animals and they gave us some dog food. They’re really nice people, friendly, and apparently, they really love animals or they wouldn’t be with American Humane. They gave us food, they gave us flea and tick medicine. They really helped us.”
First responders will remain in the Eastern Kentucky area as long as support is needed. Along with the team’s animal rescue efforts, American Humane’s first responders spent the last week delivering critical supplies including pet food, leashes, collars, harnesses and medications to residents affected by the devastation, many of whom are now homeless and unable to care for their beloved animals.
“This is but one of many disasters we will respond to in the coming weeks, and we just can’t thank our supporters enough for helping us fulfill our mission of being the first to serve whenever and wherever animals are in need,” said Ganzert.
American Humane is located at 251 Royal Palm Way, Palm Beach. For more information, visit americanhumane.org.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"