Natural disasters also affect animals

By Kelly McCraddic

For the last few years, nature has been taking over and threatening humanity by way of natural disasters – the tsunami, major hurricanes, tornadoes and Pakistan’s recent earthquake.

I asked myself after reading an e-mail from the Animal Humane Society, what about the animals?

After all these recent events, I thought and worried about the people of these nations.

People all over the world have donated money, looked into volunteering time, donated clothes, food and opened residences for the victims. But what about the animals who are now homeless, starving and possibly separated from owners.

Who is helping them?

One of my close friends asked me to donate some money to the Animal Humane Society in New Orleans. So I did, not giving one thought to how that money was going to help the animals.

When I read the e-mail the other day, I saw where my money went.

The Animal Humane Society sent money to get volunteers to help rescue abandoned animals caught in homes, on top of buildings, wading in that vile water, as well as set up shelters with food and give them the medical attention they needed. They also help at local animal kennels and shelters.

This put my mind at ease for a moment.

What if I’m not the only one who didn’t think about who was helping our animals?

There are probably hundreds or even thousands of animals from Hurricane Katrina that were killed, injured, left homeless or starving. I guess if some of them didn’t have fur or feathers they would be without clothes, too.

By donating just a few dollars to the AHS you can save a furry friend, help them find homes, give them food, etc.

It is always more devastating to see people losing, homes, family, friends, all of their irreplaceable belongings or without food and medical care. It is easier to relate because they are human.

However, all of nature’s creatures have a place in this world. When Mother Nature strikes, it doesn’t only affect humans.

As a college student, employed or not, money is always tight. But if you are thinking about donating to an organization, consider our world’s furry and sometimes not-so-furry friends.

Animals, domestic and wild can always use a helping hand. When disasters come and go, they don’t have the same resources humans do.

There are hundreds of different animal organizations to which you can donate time, money, leashes and food. If you’re like me, and your dog has grown out of three different sized kennels, you can always donate those as well.

If you are the type of person who worries about where your money goes, try going to a local shelter or veterinary clinic and find out what they might need. Hit a dollar store, maybe pick up some cheap food, treats, collars or leashes.

NIU has organizations whose main interests are helping and saving wildlife. You can check out NIU’s Web site. Look under student organizations to find more about them.

If you have a free hour or two, ask around to see who needs volunteers in the DeKalb area or even when you go back home.

Granted, the animals won’t be able to tell you how much they appreciate it, but you will know inside you have done something for a creature less fortunate, even if they walk on all fours.

I look at my cat Taughty and my dog Mattie, who were both homeless at one time.

I get a warm-fuzzy feeling knowing I may have saved their lives just by taking them home. And without words, I know they appreciate it.

So next time you want to do some charitable volunteer work think to yourself, “What about the animals?” It may only take a phone call to the vet’s office to see if they need any supplies of any kind.

Local shelters and kennels always need help.

Everyone, human or not, was affected by these horrific natural disasters. Every little bit helps.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.