'It's a labor of love': Wisconsin rescue takes in 60 animals from Kentucky shelter affected by flood
UNION GROVE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As devastating floods continue in eastern Kentucky, a southern Wisconsin animal rescue is stepping up to help.
Rescue Outreach, a foster-based rescue in Union Grove, Wisconsin, has partnered with a Kentucky shelter for several years -- they typically take in animals from the area every two weeks due to high demand in southern states, but this week's intake was critical.
Many animals have been displaced by flooding in Hazard, Kentucky, and the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter is barely accessible due to floodwaters in the area.
"At this point, last I knew they were running the shelter on one generator. It's not even enough to handle their air conditioning, their air-handling systems, and they need some place to keep animals," said Heather Hartmann, the director of Rescue Outreach.
With dozens of animals in need, Rescue Outreach put out a plea for help on social media, asking for donations of money, pet supplies, even clean water. The call to the community was successful.
"We had a tremendous outpouring of support just from our local community here. We were able to fill up a 15-foot goose neck trailer full of supplies," Hartmann said.
In addition to gathering the supplies, Rescue Outreach joined other partnering rescues from Wisconsin and Illinois for a long trip to Kentucky, transporting 60 animals to Union Grove on Saturday.
"We will begin bathing, looking them over, getting them microchipped, updating vaccinations if needed, we've already gathered our supplies and once they're ready they'll go to foster homes for their two weeks hold period," Hartmann said.
While the rescuers tell CBS 58 the process has been overwhelming, the work is incredibly important to the non-profit volunteers.
"It's definitely a labor of love that has a very rewarding outcome," Hartmann said.
After some rest and rehabilitation, many of the animals that were taken in from Kentucky on Saturday will be available for adoption in Wisconsin.
Rescue Outreach is always accepting donations. Any money currently donated will be sent directly to Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter.
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