St. Louis Rescues Stray Rescue During Power OutageJune 21, 2016 | 10:44am
Thank you St. Louis!
Thank you St. Louis!
Over our eighteen-year history at Stray Rescue, we have experienced many historic and miraculous moments. Last Thursday, June 16, 2016, we experienced yet another "first." An underground fire in the city caused a power outage at the shelter during a heatwave where temperatures had already reached the upper 90s before 10:00am. With no air conditioning or electricity, we knew we had to do something fast to prevent our dogs from overheating. It was a life or death situation for the animals we work so hard to save from the streets. It would prove to be a heartwarming day when our community came to our rescue in droves and lived up to our core values of Community, Commitment and Compassion.
We took to social media and called on our community for help. We asked for donations of water, ice, flashlights, and for temporary fosters to take the dogs out of the shelter to the comforts of air conditioning until our power was restored. We started doing our best to keep the animals cool and calm the best way we knew how – by putting ice in their water bowls and putting cool, wet towels on them. Meanwhile, the community started to show up at our doors offering the help we asked for. The response was overwhelming!
By 1pm we had only 13 dogs in the shelter with caring individuals who gave our dogs a great day out. They went home with families to play in the pool and relax in their air conditioned homes; some went to work for the first time, enjoying the comforts of an air conditioned office and lots of loving attention. The Bi-State Development (Metro Transit) system sent three air conditioned buses for the remaining dogs to find refuge from the hot, dark shelter.
By noon our lobby was filled with coolers and coolers of ice and water. We also received generous donations of Gatorade for our hardworking staff and volunteers, and some even sent pizza, sandwiches and cupcakes to keep us fed. Our community was taking care of our dogs, and taking care of us too!
IBEW/NECA stepped in with large generators that could run our entire building. Not knowing when the power would come back on, their members worked hard and fast to connect the generator. Just as that was about to go live, the power came back on! But their help didn't stop there. IBEW/NECA's dedicated volunteers kept the generator and electricians on standby for us for the next 24 hours, so that we could be sure that the electrical supply was stable and not likely to shut down again. Home Depot donated an emergency generator, so should we ever be faced with a similar outage during a heatwave, we have a back up plan.
A personal message from Randy: I cannot thank St. Louis enough for everything you all did for us on this day. Every time we asked for help, we got more of it than we could have imagined. Our lobby was constantly busy with people arriving to drop off donations of ice and water, or foster animals. All were patient and kind. Our staff worked together to make things go as smoothly as possible and many were in tears at times throughout the day, overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of St. Louis. The best news of all is that 20 dogs were adopted by their temporary foster parents who decided they could not live without their new furry friends! Your efforts made it possible! And for that, we are so grateful.
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