McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 24, 2013

Four-legged storm victims need help: McAlester veterinarians join in drive

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Some four-legged victims of last week’s storms need help, too.

Dr. Ashley Sewell, of Sewell Animal Hospital, decided to get involved after others asked her about pets in the stricken areas.

Now, there’s a way for McAlester-area residents to help, too.

“I have had some clients ask me about donations for pets affected by the tornado. In checking to see if anyone locally was directly focusing on pets, I couldn't find anything,” she said.

The help is definitely needed.

“There are numbers of animals that are injured,” she said. “Some may be in shelters for a time.”

It’s not simply a case of animals being kept for a few hours, or even a few days, until an owner locates them and takes them home.

“The owners may not have a home to take them to,” Sewell said.

 Sewell decided to contact other veterinarians in the McAlester and see if they would be willing to help.

They were.

Sewell says veterinarians she spoke with are ready to help by offering their offices as drop-off stations for those wanting to make donations to help pets who were left homeless in the storm-stricken areas.

“All of the vets in our town are willing to serve as drop-offs,” Sewell said.

Many of the homeless and/or injured animals have been taken to buildings serving as makeshift shelters, where there are no large quantities of supplies to care for all of the animals which need help.

Sewell said that based on information from OK listserve and the Animal Resource Center, needed items include:

• Used towels

• Used blankets

• Crates

• Dog treats

• Dog food

• Cat food

• Dog shampoo

• Latex gloves

• Paper towels

• Trash bags

• Flea/tick meds

• Chlorox wipes

• Cat litter pans and litter

• Copy paper and other office supplies (for those who are helping keep track of the animals).

“It’s mostly dogs and cats,” Sewell said, adding that she doesn’t have a need for donations of horse-related items.

Most veterinarian offices were expected to be closed for Memorial Day, but will reopen Tuesday. Items can be dropped off during regular business hours at the following locations in the McAlester area:

• Sewell Animal Hospital, 638 S, Main St.

• Renegar Animal Hospital, 1550 S. Main St.

• Kiamichi Veterinary Clinic, 69 Business Rt. South

• Town & Country Veterinary Clinic, 1401 N. Main St.

• Oklahoma Vet Med, corner of 14th St. and East Washington Ave.

• Wynn Animal Hospital, two miles east of Krebs on U.S. Highway 270.

It’s likely someone from PAWS (Partners of Animal Welfare Society) or another volunteer will transport the load to one of the centers providing care for animals, such as the Animal Resource Center north of Moore, Sewell said.

“Were looking to take the load up there this week,” Sewell said, adding that the local donations will probably be delivered on Thursday.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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