KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY
Photos courtesy of Molly Wald, Best Friends Animal Society.
When Kinship Circle began working with Iowa Dept. of Agriculture/Veterinary
Response to coordinate volunteers for Iowa animal flood victims — we soon
learned about the pig tragedy. Hog farms had filled with water, with pigs
trapped in crates and others adrift over a wide swath of southeast Iowa. As
many as 40,000 pigs were evacuated. An estimated 4,000 pigs died. Still
others swam for their lives in rapid waters. Some managed to hoist their
bodies atop levees, only to be shot dead by officials concerned they’d
destroy sandbags. Residents and officials herded some on to barges, to ferry
them back to owners. Many carcasses remain as waters recede.
But pigs are smart. And some escaped to dry ground. Reports came in daily:
Pigs spotted by churches, in homes, near levees, on rooftops. Early during
this operation, Kinship Circle called Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading
farm animal protection organization, to ask if their Emergency Rescue Team
could come to Iowa. Within 24 hours, they were on the road from Watkins
Glen, New York to Oakville, Iowa.
On conference call with state officials, we learned that pigs currently
stranded, when found, could be taken to a temporary holding area… And once
in Farm Sanctuary’s custody, receive immediate care and transport to
sanctuary. That’s right: sanctuary.
Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network volunteers have assisted Farm
Sanctuary rescuers. See below, to donate to FS Emergency Rescue Fund.
1. Iowa Pig Tails
Exhausted from their ordeal, dry pigs finally rest… Bob Rude, of Kinship
Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network, comforts some of the pigs he, David
Halperin, and Cheri Deatsch helped Farm Sanctuary rescue from flooded areas
in Oakville, Iowa. Photo credit: Cheri Deatsch, Kinship Circle
6/24/08: Farm Sanctuary catches three scared and weary pigs the evening of
6/23. The next morning Kinship Circle volunteers help Farm Sanctuary
rescuers lure a spooked pig from the bushes. They manage to ease him out,
but the pig isn’t happy about going into an enclosure. After a bit of
thrashing and some apparent pig indigestion, rescuers guide him into Farm
Sanctuary’s straw-lined trailer. One pig is so relieved to finally find
comfort, he burrows beneath the straw for a long nap…
A fifth pig plays “hard to get,” leading rescuers on a panicked chase
through the woods before guided to safety inside Farm Sanctuary’s trailer.
6/24/08: Aerial surveillance of flooded Iowa regions shows live pigs still
stranded on 16 different levee systems. Also spotted on levees: deer,
pheasants, coyotes, fox… Pigs begin to show signs of severe sunburn.
6/25/08: Data and mapping for pig locations is sent to Farm Sanctuary and
IFAW, also working in Iowa with FS. Many county and state agencies must
provide clearance in order for rescuers to get on levees…
Pigs escaped from a flooded Iowa farm and made it to a levee. But they were
shot and killed by authorities who said they threatened to weaken the barrier.
2. Help Farm Sanctuary’s Emergency Rescue Fund
STRANDED PIGS NEED URGENT HELP:
Flood waters have ravaged the Midwest, and farm animals need immediate
rescue! The recent flooding has hit largely agricultural areas, leaving
pigs, cattle and other animals stranded.
Hundreds of factory farm pigs have been left trapped and drowning in crates,
or freed only to be swept away by rapid currents…trying desperately to
survive on area levees.
Farm Sanctuary dispatched a rescue team with our large animal rescue trailer
last week and we are currently on the ground in Iowa and Illinois to save
drowning and stranded pigs.
Farm Sanctuary is working with other organizations to transport surviving
pigs to a temporary holding area, and once pigs are in our custody, Farm
Sanctuary will be ensuring their immediate care and transport to sanctuary.
DONATE TO FARM SANCTUARY EMERGENCY RESCUE FUND TO SAVE STRANDED PIGS:
Farm Sanctuary is also in urgent need of adoptive homes for rescued pigs. If
you are able to provide a loving home to a brave survivor of the Midwest
Flood Disaster, please call 607-583-2225 ext. 223.
3. Pig Press
IOWA FLOOD PIGS IN THE NEWS:
Days in the Midwest rescuing pets, farm animals
Mr. Rude, who along with his wife, Kathy, runs Rude Ranch Animal Rescue, a
small animal welfare outfit in south county, got the call June 16 from
Kinship Circle, a national network of animal disaster responders, to head to
Iowa to provide assistance to animals displaced by massive Midwest
flooding… Working with other rescue volunteers, Mr. Rude has spent the
past four days rescuing cats, dogs, pets and farm animals. One of the
hairiest rescues was of a pig. “He was a challenge. Pigs don’t like being
told what to do. A lot of strength and gumption, but we got it done…”
Concerns leveled over polluted floodwaters in Midwest
More carcasses may be found as hog barns dry out… “We can deal with as many
(carcasses) as we have. We can bury thousands, if necessary.”
Iowa Floods Wreak Havoc on Farming Communities
One of our trips — I think it was our first trip out this morning, about
5:30 — we saw, as we were driving by, we saw the pigs, the little pink
dots, all along this one barn over here. So we swung in there and, sure
enough, it was just loaded with probably close to 250 to 300 pigs. After
five days in the water, hundreds of pigs were dead, but others had managed
to survive. The difficult, dirty and dangerous job of getting the pigs out
of the highly contaminated river water began. Richard Crook, Best Friends
Iowa farmer makes a sorrowful choice
The 450 abandoned sows and 400 hogs were still alive. In hopes some might
survive, Lanz opened the shed doors, giving the animals a chance of swimming
to safety — despite the treacherous currents and the general unfitness of
swine for swimming. When Lanz visited a patch of high ground Monday, he
found roughly 30 pigs had survived.
Pigs perish on submerged farmland
With dry land miles away, a hog swims in circles near a hog enclosure while
straining to survive the Iowa River floodwaters, southeast of Oakville. Many
residents were forced to leave their possessions and, in some cases
livestock, behind Saturday after the levee broke. Matt Ryerson/ The Hawk Eye
Deputies shoot pigs to save levee, land
Officials said they killed the pigs over worries that they would weaken the levee.
Precious pets reunited with worried owners
…Rescue workers from Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society and volunteer
group Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network have picked up dozens of
cats and one dog from flooded homes, barns and on top of trees in the
Oakville and bottoms area…. The groups, which have been boating back and
forth in the area since Tuesday, have been asked to come in by officials at
the Iowa Department of Agriculture, mainly to recover stranded pets.
Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network
was enlisted by Iowa Agriculture Dept/State Veterinary Response to send
volunteers for animal flood victims. During disasters, we are on phone, fax,
and Internet 24/7. The cost to keep our tiny staff on-call is immense. Any
donations are greatly appreciated at this time. Kinship Circle is a 501c3
nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible.
DONATE ONLINE: http://www.kinshipcircle.org/donation/
DONATE BY MAIL: Kinship Circle
7380 Kingsbury Blvd.; St. Louis, MO 63130
KINSHIP CIRCLE ANIMAL DISASTER AID NETWORK
Communicating during disasters to mobilize volunteers, supplies, and other
resources for animal victims. http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters
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