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Caring for Jack

December 6, 2011

A wise person once said; “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Luckily, a group of Kansans were listening – one named Dr. Christine Skaer.

Skaer heads up the efforts of the Kansas State Animal Response Team KSART, a recently formed group of volunteers that respond to disasters to care for the victims that used to be forgotten – the animals.

On May 22, 2011 an EF3 tornado literally wiped out the small eastern Kansas town by the name of Reading. The devastation in this small town might have caught more notice if not for the damage done down the road in neighboring Joplin, Missouri.

The core of the media and many others converged on Joplin, but not everyone. Not the local Kansas emergency responders and the KSART.

A coordinated rescue effort took place – one that included both people and animals.

Any rescue of a living creature is difficult, but a pet rescue is extra tough. For starters pets might not be listed as missing. Next, pets often run from their home area during or after the storm. Then, some pets are so small they can get wedged into the smallest of places. Such was the case with Jack.

Jack was a Jack Russell Terrier. Jack’s family lost their neighbor, lost their home, and they lost Jack.

It was a full day and a half after the storm when a KSART member discovered him. Jack was wedged way back under a pile of debris. His tan and white coat blended with the rubble. Just finding him was a miracle.

The rescue was extremely difficult. Jack wasn’t just trapped, he was critically injured. He was in so much pain he had to be sedated before team members could affect his rescue.

Once Jack was removed from his entrapment his injuries could be fully assessed. One of Jack’s rear legs had been nearly severed and some of his internal organs were hanging outside his body.

The miracle was dampened. Jack had to be euthanized. But, that wasn’t the end of the story.

The KSART group took pictures of Jack before he was cremated. They then posted Jack’s picture in various locations. Jack’s family was searching for him when they spotted his picture.

The family was devastated when the KSART member informed them Jack was gone. But, they were eternally beholding for the care they gave Jack at the end of his life.

Kansans are extremely lucky to have people like Dr. Skaer and others who volunteer to rescue and care for our pets during disasters. Those of us in fire, EMS, law, and EM are also lucky to have them on our team.

KSART – Thank you for all you do!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 4:00 pm

    On behalf of the Kingman Pratt Area Animal Response Team I would like to say “thank-you” Chief Moody for your support. We are very fortunate to have Dr Skaer heading up our efforts, but it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our locals EMs.

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