BELFAST – In the event of a disaster, the American Red Cross may open a shelter in Waldo County for residents who cannot stay in their homes. During the "1998 Ice Storm", many residents in our community did not go to the shelter because they did not wish to leave their animals behind.
As a result, and under the guidance of EMA director Dale Rowley, a Pet Shelter Team was formed. Should the American Red Cross open a shelter in Waldo County, the Team will open a pet shelter for dogs and cats at the same location.
Currently, the team consists of only three members; Tammy Bodge-Terry, LeeAnna Rowley, and Ginny Bara. They have been trained in Pet Sheltering, Pet First Aid and other pet related duties. Through grants and yard sales, enough funds were raised to buy all the equipment necessary for the team to open a pet shelter. This equipment is stored at the County EMA office.
During the December 2013 ice storm, the team gained its first experience by opening and manning a pet shelter in conjunction with the American Red Cross shelter located at the Troy Howard Middle School. Many people stayed at the American Red Cross shelter because they could house their cats and dogs at the shelter and know that their pets were safe and secure.
In order to continue with the Pet Shelter Team, the Team needs more volunteers. Training will be provided through the EMA office and a mock exercise will likely be conducted when more people join the team. Otherwise the Waldo County Pet Shelter Team may have to disband. If you love animals and would like to help the team and their owners during a disaster, please reach out to EMA Director Dale Rowley. He can be reached at the EMA office, 4 Public Safety Way, by phone 338-3870 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.