Eight cats called my house home as I shared my crib with outstretched paws, my Lucky Charms with inquisitive snouts, my term papers with shredding fangs. As the next-door neighbor’s infant gurgled in her lap, my “baby” wrapped his four legs tightly around my middle.
As a result, I understand what crossed the minds of those Hurricane Katrina victims who refused rescue because their “babies” couldn’t join them in shelter.
Congress also understood, creating the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which requires states to incorporate domesticated pets and service animals into their emergency preparedness plans.
According to a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment of Waldo County, high winds (hurricanes) and severe winter storms rank first and second on the list of vulnerabilities for area residents. (Check out the full list in the attachment.)
Therefore, plans are in place for residents and their pets at the primary Red Cross-supported overnight shelters:
Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
Lincolnville Central School, Lincolnville
Mount View School Complex, Thorndike
Troy Howard and Mount View would also be used for pet shelters by the people being sheltered there as well, according to Dale Rowley, director of the Waldo County Emergency Management Agency.
Waldo County also has a small, fully-equipped Pet Shelter Team.
According to the Citizen Preparedness link at Knox County Maine.Gov, one of four Red Cross Shelters will open for humans in case of emergency within Knox County. In most cases, a simultaneous pet shelter will operate near the humans.
Knox County shelters may be found at one of the following schools:
Camden Hills Regional High School off of Route 90
Rockland District Middle School, 30 Broadway
Union Elementary (old D R Gaul) 1070 Heald Highway, Union
Warren Community School, 117 Eastern Road, Warren
Working along side the local branch of the Emergency Management System is the local Knox County Animal Rescue Team, a volunteer group made up of individuals and organizations willing to assist with the sheltering of animals if pre-established sheltering facilities become overwhelmed. Click here to volunteer with Knox CART.
Click here for Lincoln County’s LCART volunteers.
The phone number 211 and the website 211maine.org are databases for resources provided in Maine. Search for anything from medical programs to humane society locations.