Last week I thought it was odd that I didn't hear from Sue Baker from the Plattsmouth Animal Shelter. She emailed me back to let me know that she was down in Moore, Oklahoma helping out after the tornados hit.
This is her story:
"I was extremely honored to be chosen to represent NACA (National Animal Control Association) and IFAW (International Fund for Animal welfare.) I arrived in Norman Oklahoma the night before I was due to report. I decided to check in at the emergency shelter at the Cleveland County fairgrounds just to get acclimated to the area before I started working the next day. I met Josh Cary, Operations Specialist for the American Humane Association and he showed me around, introducing me to some of the Red Star Team, including Justin Scally, the newly appointed National Director for the American Humane Association. Everyone greeted me, shook my hand and thanked me for being there. Introductions done, I went to get a good night sleep to start the next day ready to go.
I arrived at the shelter for the morning briefing at 7:30am, and was so pleasantly surprised at the number of people who were there to work. Everyone was smiling, greeting each other and just genuinely happy to be there. I introduced myself and was immediately greeted with welcomes from everyone. Assignments were given out and since I had been assigned to the field for night cat trapping I decided to wander around and pitch in wherever they may need help.
This did not seem like an “emergency shelter” situation at all. I was astonished at how organized, clean and prepared this shelter was, there were approximately 100 animals a day to take care of yet the atmosphere was calm, the air was fresh and clean. The dogs that I could see appeared to not be under too much stress, other than a little barking there were no visible signs of distress anywhere. The cleaning had just begun yet the entire shelter didn’t appear to be that untidy. All the Volunteers were smiling, chatting, greeting the animals, just getting to work and enjoying every minute of it. The routines were set and so I just jumped right in at first helping to organize the mounds of donated items that had arrived. There were so many tables of donated pet items that we needed to move pallets of items around to fit more in. These donations were so important for the owners. Food, toys, litter and pans, collars, leashes anything and everything you could imagine needing for your pet. Owners would find their pet and then get “loaded down” with tons of supplies for that pet. I was in awe of all the donated stuff.
The dedication that I saw from all the volunteers blew me away! I saw them start early in the am and work until late at night. I saw them taking extra special care with cleaning, feeding, petting, and talking to all the animals. I saw volunteers work through lunch, I saw volunteers walk the same dog several times a day just to be sure it had enough chance to do their duty. I have never seen such devotion until now. I saw one of the Vets, Dr. Lorna taking a personal interest in each and every animal, I saw her stop what she was doing to take the time to talk to an owner that had just found their lost pet in our facility. Then to top it off she would walk them over to the donation area and talk to them about picking out the right kind of foods and supplies for that pet. She was just one example of the devotion to the cause, no matter who you were.
That evening I had the opportunity to go into the field with the American Humane Red Star Field Team. The amount of devastation was extreme and some of the areas looked like a war zone, it was difficult to tell why one house was totally flattened and the next house looked like it had not been touched. The destruction made no sense at all. This trip to the field was overwhelming, not only the amount of destruction but the smiles and resilient attitudes of the many locals that were now displaced. There were groups of people driving around handing out meals to all the volunteers, groups setting up grills on the side of the road making food and giving it out free to anyone. The generosity was amazing. I saw people that had lost everything, yet they didn’t let it break them. One homeowner allowed an artist to paint a huge American flag on the roof of their home.
After the sun went down and it got dark, there were cats running in and out of the piles of rubble. It was difficult to determine if these cats were wild or just simply scared. We set traps and caught quite a few cats the first night. The next morning out of 10 cats, 4 or 5 were reclaimed by owners. It was so heartwarming to hear the stories of how the owners came in, found their pet and tears of joy would flow. Twice I heard stories of young kids that came in with their parents to find their pet. These kids had smiles from ear to ear when their pet was found. And then whenever someone would come in and find their dog the reunion was amazing, these dogs were wiggling and whining with happiness. Every day the reunions were happening time and time again. It spurred us on!
Then on Friday May 31st the bad weather rolled in. At first it didn’t seem like it would amount to much. Then suddenly the sirens sounded and the sky turned blackish/green, it was very ominous. Our Red Star Team IC took every precaution for the team’s safety; they evacuated us to Norman Regional Hospital across the street. IC made sure everyone made it there safe, and reassured us that we were in the best place possible for this impending storm. I looked around while taking shelter in the basement of this hospital and the hallways were lined with “locals” who now, after such devastation, were anxious to take shelter outside their one-story homes. The volunteers working with us that lived in the area told us all that the May 20th tornado had changed everything for everyone. Luckily this storm did not impact our emergency shelter or any of the volunteers. We felt very fortunate.
I was due to return home on Sunday morning June 2nd but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave yet. I had formed attachments and friendships with so many. I decided to stay 1 more day and not leave until Monday June 3rd, truthfully I wanted to even stay another day, but I knew I had to go. I felt that I had shared so much with so many in such a short amount of time. I had formed friendships that will last a lifetime.
On Monday morning I said my goodbyes with promises of finding each other on facebook and through email. I had made lifeline connections and the Red Star Team was now near and dear to my heart."
The outpouring support is amazing! So glad so many pets were rescused and well taken care of!
She has also responded to hurricane Katrina and the Joplin tornado for animal resuce. Keep up the great work.
Great Job Sue!!!
Animals Available for Adoption
at the Plattsmouth Animal Shelter
LOTS of KITTENS to come very SOON!
Adoption fee on all animals is $60.
This includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.
Microchips are an additional $25 (well worth it).
Adult Cats are always a free adoption to Senior Citizens!
Animal Shelter - 402-298-8235
MASTER GARDENER TRAINEES COMPLETE TRAINING
Last month the Southeast Nebraska Master Gardener Training Program concluded with 9 participants completing 40 hours of training. This is the third Master Gardener Training session we have had in southeast Nebraska in the past seven years. In 2010 Vaughn Hammond, Extension Educator at the Kimmel Education and Research Center and Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County decided to join forces and coordinate and conduct the training together. Training sessions were conducted in either Nebraska City at the Kimmel Education and Research Center or in Auburn. The first 6 sessions were conducted via webinar and went out to over 20 sites in Nebraska. These topics vary from year to year. Webinar programs in Auburn were held at the Nemaha County Hospital in their classroom or at the Auburn City Library. All the face-to-face sessions in Auburn were held in the 4-H Building on the Nemaha County Fairgrounds.
The program was open to anyone in Southeast Nebraska. This is the only program conducted in the region, other than programs held at the Lancaster County Extension office in Lincoln, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus or the Douglas County Extension office in Omaha. We have trained over 40 participants in the region in the 3 years we have held Master Gardener Training Programs. Many of these are still active Master Gardeners and have provided hundreds of hours of volunteer service to the region sharing their expertise in the area of gardening or horticulture. Topics covered during the trainings included: Native Plants, Drought Recovery and Water Conservation, Soils, Lawn Pests, Container Gardening, Household Insects, Morphology and Plant Identification, Fruits, Vegetables, Trees, Home GAPS, Weeds and Drought. This year we had participants from communities in Richardson, Johnson, Otoe, Cass and Nemaha Counties. Now the trainees will complete their 40 hours of volunteer service in their respective communities to become Master Gardeners. To maintain their status as Master Gardeners, people must complete 10 hours of continuing education and 20 hours of volunteer service each year. UNL Extension will continue to provide opportunities for Master Gardener Training in years to come. If you have questions about this program, feel free to contact Vaughn Hammond at (402) 873-3166 or Gary Lesoing at (402) 274-4755.
4-Hers are making a measurable difference in Cass County by participating in community service! During the annual Cass County 4-H Community Service Workshop Day, participants worked on several 2013 community service projects including the Colene Shrader Kidz for Kwiltz quilt tops. Funds for this project include an annual donation of $500 from the Kurk Shrader family (Elmwood) and proceeds from the annual silent quilt auction held at the end of the Cass County fair in August. Pictured are Faith C. and Grace Brown showing off the quilt top they worked on during the come-and-go daylong workshop.
Want information straight to your Smart Phone about Plattsmouth Main Street Activities?
FREE opt-in "VIP Text Club" service that works on any cell phone. This will provide automatic text messages to individuals who want to receive periodic information regarding Plattsmouth Main Street activities - such as the Entertainment Plaza. It's easy and quick to join our free VIP Text Club. Just Text TO 36000, type message: L277 . A confirmation message will follow. Some cell phone providers may apply Msg&Data Rates. Text STOP to opt-out.
Are you 50 yrs++?
Do you need a driver refresher?
Then this is for you!
Who is ready for the Cass County Fair????
Here are some great NEW contests for you and yours to enter!
Wednesday, July 10th – 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Thursday, July 11th – 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Friday, July 12th – 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday – 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Friday – 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
We will also be serving food.
Come try one of our delicious yumburgers!
June 13 ~ 1-7 p.m. City Building, 101 W. Eldora Ave. Weeping Water, Nebraska
June 17 ~ 1-7 p.m. Town Hall, 623 House St. Avoca, Nebraska
June 24 ~ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jeff Henry Chevrolet, 302 Fulton Ave. Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Plattsmouth Library News
Summer Reading Program Begins June 4
"Dig Into Reading" at the library beginning Tuesday, June 4, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am in the library auditorium for the Summer Reading Program. Wildlife Encounters of Gretna will be here with six to seven live animals including a Fennec Fox, Serval, and Patagonian Cavy for us to meet and learn about.
A different program will be presented each Tuesday, featuring geocaching, a paleontologist from Morrill Hall in Lincoln, live frogs and toads from the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium, and fossil fun. The final week will be our annual picnic on July 9 to close out the program.
Daily activities include arts and crafts, story time, movies, board games, speed stacking, and video gaming. Check the summer reading program brochure for a full list of activities.
This FREE program is open to kids from preschool to 6th grade (completed). Please call Kirsten at 402-296-4154, extension 21, with any questions.
Special Summer Reading Program for Teens!
This summer, the library will be offering a reading program designed just for teens called "Beneath The Surface!" The program will kick off on Tuesday, June 4, from 1:00 to 8:00 pm. Stop by the library to register and pick up the "Read" Bingo cards for the program. There are twelve activities on each card, and everyone will receive "Book Bucks" for each "Read" Bingo card completed and turned in at the library.
The "Book Bucks" can be redeemed for prizes at the end of the Summer Reading Program on Saturday, June 29, at 2:00 pm, at the library. The prize table will be set up in the auditorium from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm that day! The biggest prize is to have a pizza party with the "T.R.I.P." paranormal investigation team that evening. This is the chance to see their equipment, meet the team, and get an insider scoop on their experiences.
The program is FREE and open to anyone ages 13-18. If you have any questions, please call Kirsten, 402-296-4154, extension 21.
I am looking through the years 1900s-Present day of you, mother, father, grandmother, or your children in car seats. Please provide a small caption. PHOTOS RECEIVED will be published in upcoming Plattsmouth Newsletters!
Community Sustaining Sponsors 2013