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Flood Update

August 2008 Barker


From an Email Received From Scott Northern

On 6/10 I sent out the first flood email asking for help. At that time, the flood waters were coming towards Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, and there was nothing that could be done, except evacuate and prepare. Over the course of the next several weeks, many more emails went out, and the response was amazing.

Volunteers streamed in from all over the country, putting in tens of thousands of hours of work to help take care of the animals that were in need. Hundreds of phone calls came in, asking questions, offering advice, lessons learned, words of encouragement, and support. Supplies flowed into both the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids shelters, carried by semis, vans, baskets, and hand.

During our time of need, the outpouring of support was as monumental as the floodwaters were devastating. If it were not for the generosity of the animal world, the efforts to help all of those beloved pets would have been in vain. I can type no words that would come close to expressing the gratitude all of us in this area have.

I believe this will be my last email about the flood, as the vast majority of animals have left the Cedar Rapids Shelter, the Iowa City Shelter has found a temporary home, and both are now eyeing the tremendous rebuilding effort ahead of them.

Now onto the Questions and Answers:

Question - What did you do on Saturday, July 19th? Any AKC News?

Answer - It was a sureal experience to walk the Kirkwood buildings that, just a month earlier, held so many hundreds of animals. Gone were the kennels that lined the hallways, the stalls in the equine center were entry, there were no shavings on the floor, no pooper scoppers lining the aisles, and the barking, meowing, and chirping had gone silent. The hustle and bustle that had once frantically energized the air was replaced with a deafening silence, as one lone woman came in quietly asking if she could adopt the last 3 birds to her sanctuary.

As I talked with Misha Goodman and Sgt. Kent Choate about the past month, I was honored to be able to offer them some help towards their future, from the American Kennel Club. During the course of this tragedy, the AKC has contributed an endless supply of dog crates, cat crates, cat havens, kitty litter, food, you name it...they've sent it. Lisa Peterson, of the AKC, has also made it a point to check in with me several times a week to see what more could be done and how efforts were progressing. Just when I thought they had gone above and beyond...the AKC goes even further.

  • On behalf of the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund, I had the privilege of presenting $10,000 checks to BOTH the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter and the Iowa City Animal Shelter. That money will go so far in helping these inspirational organizations put back together everything they have lost. You can read the AKC article online at http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3554
  • John F. Kennedy said "When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity." In Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, we faced out flood danger, but we would not have been able to rise to the opportunity presented if it were not for YOU.
  • As another famous John (Lennon) once sang, "I get by with a little help from my friends." To everyone reading this, we did MORE than JUST get by, because YOU gave MORE than just a little help!

Hugs to your hounds,
Scot Northern
President - Cedar Rapids Kennel Association

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