Bloomington Animal Shelter houses furry Irma survivors
24 cats and dogs make a new home in Bloomington
Barks, meows, purring and woofs galore —the Bloomington Animal shelter is no stranger to all things furry and fluffy. The shelter is now (temporarily) home to animals relocated from Southern Florida to make room for more animals in anticipation of homeless pets due to Hurricane Irma.
The kitties and puppies are rambunctious and ready for love. With names like "Ping-Pong" and "Clyde" these animals are hopeful they will find new loving homes in Bloomington.
Bloomington Animal Shelter Manager Julia Ettley says that taking in animals after disasters is not a new practice for the shelter. This time, the Humane Society of the United States and ASPCA wanted to prevent another situation similar to Hurricane Katrina where over 600,000 animals were abandoned or killed.
The Bloomington Animal Shelter is part of a rescue preparedness group that are contacted when something is going on to see how much they can help with each disaster.
The animals that have arrived in Bloomington are diverse and include itty bitty kittens all the way up to German Shepherd/Shar Pei mixes.
"The HSUS worked to send a variety of animals out. So if you agree to take in animals, you are taking what you can get and working with them if you can," Ettley said. "If not, we would find another group that would be working with them. It's really what we can do within our scale."
Because these animals have been advertised and the coverage of Hurricane Irma has stirred a lot of sympathy from the general public, there is a good chance these animals will be adopted quickly. But Ettley says that the other animals require special precautions.
The influx of animals as well as the potential stressors from their situation has prompted the shelter to come up with alternative housing for many of the animals. So, do not be alarmed when a kitty jumps out of an office or the quietest parts of the building. These little guys are just trying to adjust after a very stressful situation.
"We don't know everything about these animals and they've been through a lot of transition which inherently leads to stress. So stressed animals can get sick or have diarrhea or have trouble adjusting to a new home," said Ettley. "So there's just a little bit added to the tail end of it."
However, do not let these precautions hinder potential adoptions. There are dozens of animals ready to be adopted and waiting for their great new home.
The new residents of Bloomington have also inspired the public to send in more donations. Since these animals have arrived there has been a huge influx of donations to the shelter. "These donations help with our other animals as well. There is a need beyond [the animals from Florida] and it's always nice to be a part of the bigger community of animal welfare and help where we could even if it was outside our bounds," Ettley said.
Every animal in this shelter needs a home, but even more so, the shelter needs to be able to continue providing homes for homeless pets. If you are interested in helping, the Bloomington Animal Shelter has a wish list posted on their website that includes items such as bleach, paper towels, dog toys, and quality food. Monetary donations are also appreciated and can be sent to the Shelter directly (3410 South Walnut Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47401) or brought in during regular business hours.