***UPDATE: Power restored late yesterday afternoon, Dec. 21, at the Asheville Humane Society shelter. Blankets, towels and batteries still needed. Donations may be dropped off at 72 Lee’s Creek Road or Blaze-N-Skyy Pet Boutique, 30 Battery Park Ave., in downtown Asheville.***
Many Western North Carolinia residents experienced (and are experiencing) a loss of power due to the snow storm. Among those still without electricity or heat is the Asheville Humane Society. The winter storm also caused a tree to collapse on the animal shelter.
The Asheville Humane Society has made an urgent call for help from the community.
Here’s the text of an alert the organization sent out:
“Asheville Humane Society needs blankets, towels, batteries (AA, AAA, & D) and kerosene heaters. [Editor’s note: These items can be dropped off at 72 Lee’s Creek Road, Asheville.]
The shelter has neither lights nor heat but it has plenty of heart thanks to the determination of five heroic shelter staff members who braved nearly a foot of snow to ensure the wellbeing of the 105 dogs and cats. One of the concerns facing Asheville Humane Society is a collapsed tree tangled up in power lines threatening the shelter roof.
“The County is doing the best they can, but with the mass power outages and human service areas, we’re planning to be without power at least the next 48 hours,” said Jennifer Brehler, director of operations. “The good news is that we have water and some staff has been able to make it to the shelter – some of them walking over a mile in the snow!”
Due to the power outage, shelter staff members are donning headlamps so they can see inside the shelter while they clean cages and feed the animals. “We’re feeding the animals extra food so they have more calories to keep warm. We’re also giving them extra blankets so they can snuggle up,” explained Guinn Friedman, shelter manager. “Those animals requiring medicine are receiving their doses and proper attention. The real difficulty is not being able to launder the used blankets and towels or use the commercial dishwasher. It’s also difficult to walk the dogs in the snow since some of the animals are shorter than the snow levels. But the animals seem very happy and content with their caretakers.”
“Several of the dogs are really enjoying being outside in the snow and are having a terrific time romping around,” reports Laura Sparks, animal caretaker who brought her partner along to assist with the animals. “We’re making the best of a tough situation and doing everything possible to keep the animals comfortable and happy.”
A very special thank you to the amazing shelter staff heroes who are making our mission happen: John Edens, Justin Eisman, BreeAnn Keogh, Laura Sparks and Chrstine Strickland.”
Info: 253-6807 or www.ashevillehumane.org.
— Mannie Dalton