When Rescuers Hit the Road

Two weeks, two hurricanes, 15 kittens. San Diego Humane Society Kitten Nursery Supervisor Jackie Noble had her hands full in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She and a few other SDHS staffers loaded up an RV and trekked to the Ford Arena in Texas, where animals were being dropped off, and where the National Guard and other relief agencies were set up. One group of National Guardsmen traveling from Oklahoma had already made a few rescues without even knowing it: They heard meowing inside their Humvee while en route and found three kittens under the floorboards.

Someone else brought in four kittens; then another round came in. Most went to a Houston shelter or foster homes, but the three Humvee kitties stayed with Noble until she got orders to move on to Florida.

“They were the youngest and the sickest. At that point they were cold and definitely needed some extra TLC to keep them going,” Noble says.

At the Florida shelter where her team set up, someone brought in four kittens who’d been hiding in a discarded mail bin. They couldn’t have been more than a month old. The facility didn’t have power or clean water, but time was critical, so they got to work.

Noble bottle-fed the group by hand and ultimately brought them all back to San Diego on a Wings of Rescue flight—along with over 170 other shelter pets.

“It was a rewarding experience,” she says, “but definitely not for the fainthearted.”

See all the available pets at sdhumane.org

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