St. Clair County Animal Services floods and the community responds
The Belleville Area Humane Society (BAHS) is expressing its gratitude. Yesterday, as the waters rose around Belleville Area Humane Society and St. Clair County Animal Adoption Center and Animal Services (SCCAC), the community showed up.
The evacuation at the Adoption Center and Animal Services building started at 6 a.m. Over 40 animals were transported to safety by The Public Building Commission, the police and fire departments, Belleville Area Humane Society, Gateway Pet Guardians, Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Helping Strays of Monroe County, Partners 4 Pets, St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, St Clair County Highway Department, Bi-State Pet Food Pantry, Helping Hounds Dog Training, Robert Trentman, Shelly Tribout-Korves and Jack Korves, Jamie Anderson Case, and Mark Kern.
Countless neighbors stopped by to help when their own houses were flooding, and the community dropped off supplies, snacks, and good cheer.
BAHS Executive Director, Kim Vrooman said, “We were wet, we were tired, we were challenged, but we are so very grateful today to our friends in the community; especially our wonderful volunteers, fosters, and adopters who came to the rescue. We are located just across the street from St. Clair County Animal Services and I think sometimes folks don’t realize how much the county does over there to support safe pet ownership and services. We were happy to support them yesterday. They are heroes.”
Vrooman further noted the ongoing emergencies the animal welfare industry faces every single day, adding, “People were just outstanding yesterday, but our community saw first hand literally what is a figurative emergency flood in this industry every day.”
She also noted that St. Clair County is celebrating a win of achieving a 98 percent save rate (98 percent of all animals that are brought into the animal welfare system make it safely back into the community via adoption, or return to owner) ahead of schedule, while there is a national desire for all shelters to reach at least 90 percent by 2025 and while some counties in the US are still at a 40 percent save rate or lower.
BAHS and their fellow St. Clair County Animal Welfare Coalition members (St. Clair County Animal Services, Gateway Pet Guardians, St. Clair County Animal Advocates, and others) want their community to celebrate the win of the 98 percent save rate now. Still, they hope folks will also better understand that this is achieved by keeping animals in their homes and out of shelters. They hope the community will see the “flood” that is happening every day in animal welfare and continue the vital and necessary support that was shown yesterday into the future of next week, next year, and beyond.
Vrooman said, “If you find a dog on the street, look around, neighbors may know where she belongs. If you know someone who is down on their luck and considering surrendering their animal, help them learn about resources such as the BAHS Pet Resource Pantry that provides meals and tools for pet owners who find themselves in under-resourced situations. We can help people keep their pets.”
“Fancy dogs are cute, but please consider making adopting from a shelter or rescue a priority when adding furry family members. Please resist purchasing dogs from puppy mills and overproducing breeders. Until they all have homes, it is the right thing to do,” she added.
Belleville Area Humane Society and the Coalition also wish to thank the community for continuing to fund their greatest needs so they can keep helping our community of animals and their humans.
If you would like to become a monthly supporter, make a one-time donation, or even come serve a volunteer shift, BAHS and others are always in need of support.
The Belleville Area Humane Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been serving St. Clair County, Ill., for over 63 years. To donate, volunteer, and learn more, visit www.bahspets.org.
Photos courtesy of St. Clair Animal Welfare Coalition