Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wilson County shelters housed several people

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By KALYN SHELLY and ZACK OWENSBYThe Wilson PostAs people were evacuated from their homes due to rising water, they were taken to shelters for safety.The pets of owners who were evacuated were taken to other animal shelters to be cared for there until they could be reunited. Wilson County had two shelters available: College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon and Grace United Methodist in Mt. Juliet.    College Hills had one guest Saturday evening, approximately nine Sunday and around 10 stayed for a brief time later while they were making other living arrangements, according to John Grant, the church’s equipping minister. Grace United reported that they had no guests.Most people self-reported to the shelter while some were brought by the Lebanon Police as they were evacuating neighborhoods. One guest at College Hills came with a cat but there were no accommodations for animals so the pet was taken care of by animal control while the guest was staying at the shelter. Grant said they had between 30 and 40 employees who had prior shelter training by the Red Cross who took care of the guests as they came to the church. He said their guests were from the Wilson County area only and that the shelter was prepared to take on as many as 100 guests. “It was very much a Wilson County effort,” Grant said. “The partnership between College Hills, WEMA and the Red Cross did a great job at making the shelter run successfully.”    The shelters closed yesterday because all of the residents wanted to go home and were able to do so. But when residents came to shelters, though, they found out that their pets were not welcome as volunteers didn’t have the resources to care for them. Many of those pets were sent to local shelters, but one local shelter was in need of rescue itself.A New Leash on Life, located on Baddour Parkway near Castle Heights Avenue, was flooded Saturday afternoon as waters from nearby Sinking Creek rose out of its banks and threatened the animals housed there.Emergency personnel, along with volunteers, evacuated the 51 dogs and cats to the Wilson County Fairgrounds where they were housed until Sunday evening when floodwaters receded. NLOL’s Natalie Corwin said the grounds are pretty muddy and they lost some of their supplies.“Although we are back in the building, we still have some damage,” Corwin said. “We could use some wood chips for the dog runs, non-scoopable cat litter, cleaning supplies and office supplies, and towels and blankets are always accepted.“We received a donation of food from Nutro, which we greatly appreciate, so if people want to donate food, we are giving it to residents who lost food for their pets instead.”Along with the specific needs, Corwin added that monetary donations are greatly needed as well, since they will now need to replace their roof.
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