Spurred by predictions of extremely damaging winds and record rainfall accompanying Hurricane Irene’s imminent arrival to our area, Columbia-Greene Humane Society / SPCA sprang into action. On the evening of August 27th CGHS/SPCA staff assembled a fully functional emergency animal shelter adjacent to the Red Cross shelter activated at the Churchtown Fire Hall on County Rt. 27 in Columbia County. The purpose of the emergency animal shelter was to house and care for companion animals in close proximity to their families displaced by Irene’s damage.
Pets belonging to evacuees housed at the shelter rode out the gale Sunday, closely attended by CGHS/SPCA staff, who stayed throughout the storm to ensure their comfort and well-being. Safe and sound, all of our canine guests went home with their families the following morning. Flood waters receded throughout the day and both the Red Cross and CGHS Emergency Animal Shelter operations closed later that evening.
As operations in Churchtown wound down, Greene County Emergency Operations reached out for our services. Emergency sheltering operations immediately rolled over to Angelo Canna Park in Cairo on Monday, Aug. 29th. This location provided a strategic staging area for access to hard hit areas of the Catskill Mountains, locally referred to as the “Mountaintop”.
For the next several days, shelter staff traveled to affected areas in Windam, Prattsville, Hunter and points in between, transporting food and supplies in and displaced animals needing shelter out. The Cairo facility took in numerous cats and dogs and received an outpouring of public donations of food, water, bedding and other much needed supplies for distribution on the Mountaintop.
While the Cairo location closed Saturday Sept. 3rd, emergency animal sheltering activities will continue to be provided at the main CGHS/SPCA location in Hudson on an as-needed basis. Emergency transport for the Mountaintop will also be made available as long as the need exists.