AWL rescues 21 dogs from Louisiana devastation
QUEENSTOWN — After tornados ravished areas in Louisiana in early February, destroying homes, businesses and communities, a need to place animals in shelters was apparent. Within weeks, the Queen Anne’s County Animal Welfare League, the county’s animal shelter, was in contact with the Humane Society to organize a pet pick up.
On Monday, Feb. 20, at about 3:30 p.m., a shipment of 21 dogs from the New Orleans region arrived in Queenstown, ready to find homes with local residents. Varying in size, shape and number of legs, the furry friends were escorted off the van into the shelter by Animal Welfare League staff.
Originally scheduled to be flown in to Harrisburg, Pa., and then driven south to the county through Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, a case of the flu struck and forced the non-profit organization to journey more than 1,000 miles by van to get the misplaced animals up north.
Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb, shelter manager, said though many of the dogs it received were mixed breeds, the shelter did receive a doberman, Great Dane and lots of Catahoula leopard dogs, the Louisiana state dog.
Ken Adler, who drove part of the way up north with PAART, said this trip was the longest the organization had completed. He said a team drove from Pennsylvania to Alabama, stayed overnight, and then picked up the dogs at Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society in Belle Chasse, La. A handoff was made with Adler’s team in Henderson, N.C., which then made the last leg of the trip to Maryland.
Suzanne Hogan, executive director of Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County, said because the shelter had broken its adoption record for consecutive months leading back to early fall, the organization was able to take on more animals to help find them homes.
Though the Animal Welfare League had never been an Emergency Placement Partner (EPP) before, Northrop-Cobb had completed a few at a previous shelter where she worked.
Orchestrating the EPP through the Humane Society of the United States, Northrop-Cobb said the Animal Welfare League spoke with PAWS staff in Louisiana to see which animals would fit in with what the shelter currently had and then picked the dogs.
Hogan praised the community and the shelter staff for how the new leadership has shaped a well-run organization capable of executing an EPP. She said the entire experience was “ver y exciting.”
Northrop-Cobb echoed Hogan’s sentiments of how the community has been great in helping getting animals adopted.
Now that the animals have arrived, each will be vetted this week, completing medical exams on a few, and staff will begin to get to know the canines to better place them with a family in the future. Hogan said the rescued dogs may be available for adoption on Thursday at the earliest, but no applications would be accepted prior to their announcement.
For more information about the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County, located at 201 Clay Dr., Queenstown, visit www.awlqac.org.
Staff memebers from Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team pass dogs from Louisiana off its van to Animal Welfare League staff members on Monday, Feb. 20.
Animal Welfare League staff caretaker Dillon Cole pets a newly arrived dog at the shelter on Monday, Feb. 20, after AWL took in 21 new animals from Louisiana.