For those who are concerned about the welfare of the pets affected by last week’s tornado that laid low the town of Moore, Okla. and surrounding area, Reed Intermediate School student Aubrey Christensen is coming to the rescue.
Aubrey and her mother, Nicole, have set up collection boxes at Your Healthy Pet, 224 South Main Street, and at the Parks and Recreation office, Town Hall South, Main Street, for donations of pet food, cat litter, and leashes.
Aubrey, 10, was touched by postings she saw on Facebook after the May 20 tornado depicting lost pets, as well as pets that had been returned to their owners. As an animal lover aspiring to one day be a veterinarian, Aubrey asked her mother how people, who had lost their homes and all of their possessions, would be able to care for their furry friends. Leashes, she knew, would be needed to keep pets reunited with their owners, and food would need to be replenished.
“She wanted to start a collection right away. Everyone kept telling us to just send money, but she wanted to collect the actual items,” said her mother. Ms Christensen did not want to tell her daughter “No,” after having raised her to believe in helping others. She also did not want to encourage Aubrey to start a collection without knowing how they would get the items to Oklahoma.
After a lot of phone calls, a few dead ends, and a great deal of Googling, Ms Christensen found “Connecticut Truck to Oklahoma,” out of Colchester.
“The truck is going the third week of June to Oklahoma,” Ms Christensen said. That will give Aubrey time to raise support for her effort, and will also act as a second wave of assistance to Oklahoma.
“When there’s a disaster, there is always a lot of help right away, but then it begins to die down. Our items should be getting to Oklahoma about the time the next round of help is needed,” she said.
There is a lot of help for the residents of Oklahoma, Ms Christensen said. “What we’re trying to do, is help the pets.”
Donations will be accepted at Your Healthy Pet and at the Parks and Recreation office until Friday, June 14. For pick up of donations or for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was amended June 3, 2013, to reflect an extension of the final donation date.