Kinship Circle: FLOOD: Last Images + Pigs Need Homes!

July 4th, 2008 6:20 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 2:49 PM
Subject: FLOOD: Last Images + Pigs Need Homes!


7/3/08: Images From A Flood + Rescued Pigs Need Homes
As rescue and emergency sheltering operations head toward maintenance, we share a last glimpse of the flood that covered over 80% of Iowa…and some of the animals who survived.

Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 01

Photo courtesy of Molly Wald, Best Friends Animal Society.


1. Iowa Floods: Pigs, Pups & Kittens
2. Red Rover, Red Rover…Send Piggy Right Over!
3. Homes Urgently Needed For Rescued Pigs
4. Tessa’s Reunion


1. Pigs, Pups & Kittens


THE WEEK OF JUNE 14, 2008:

Kinship Circle begins discussions with Iowa EOC/State Veterinary Response Coordinator. We are asked to coordinate volunteers in areas other than Cedar Rapids, as HSUS and UAN/EARS are already there. We contact Best Friends Rapid Response Team and ask Iowa officials to enlist them for water rescue. Iowa EOC (Emergency Operations Center) requests a certified water rescue team for “use in search and rescue operations in Louisa, Des Moines, Lee, Johnson or Linn counties as needed.”

Within days, rescue operations are underway — with Kinship Circle emergency sheltering volunteers at Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, and Lee County Fairgrounds in Donnellson, Iowa.


Lee County Fairgrounds staging area, Donnellson, Iowa: The cats and dogs who come to Lee County are in very good condition or very poor condition. A cat brought in as one of the last rescues is covered in some sort of oily goop that mattes her entire coat from the shoulders down. Despite her terror, she’s ravenous, eating an entire can of wet food once safe in a cage.

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 03

The dogs (LEFT PHOTO) are Buddy and Stranger, lying down. Both are surrendered by an owner whose rural property was overrun by the flood waters. Both have terrible fleas, and mange. Stranger’s mange is so bad it caused him to lose most of the hair on the back half of his body. Many animals, such as a beagle (RIGHT PHOTO) are dehydrated and malnourished, but generally happy to be safe and back in a pack! (right photo: David Halperin, Kinship Circle volunteer)


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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 05

LEFT: Chewy is saved and reunited with his family. RIGHT: A rescued cat awaits transport to a flood shelter. Photos: Robyn Urman, Kinship Circle


Iowa officials report that over 10,000 acres of land has been underwater. Thousands of evacuated residents seek ways to put their lives back together. Some Oakville, IA residents go to Lee County Fairgrounds to report addresses where cats (mostly) were left during evacuations. As water levels recede, navigation by boat is treacherous. Rescue attempts move slowly. Most left-behind cats are frightened and hide by day. In accordance, rescue teams make preparations to do night search rescues…

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 07

LEFT: Kinship Circle volunteers Bob Rude and Cheri Deatsch make food drops for stranded animals in Oakville, Iowa. RIGHT: A cat with her food. Photos courtesy of Molly Wald, Best Friends Animal Society.


2. Red Rover, Red Rover…Send Piggy Right Over!



They’re adrift from flooded hog farms, some still encased in crates. While 40,000 pigs were pre-evacuated, some 4,000 die. Pigs who scramble atop levees are shot dead by officials concerned they’ll ruin sandbags. Many more drown. Early in this operation, Kinship Circle called Farm Sanctuary to ask if their Emergency Rescue Team could come to Iowa. KC volunteers assist Farm Sanctuary in initial rescues. A coalition of Farm Sanctuary, International Fund for Animal Welfare, American Humane Association, and Animal Rescue League of Boston continue to recover pigs from levee systems…


BOB RUDE, 6/24/08: We arrive in Oakville around 7:00 am. We check out the area and notice a couple pigs. Farm Sanctuary is there and tells us they spent the night trying to catch pigs. They managed to get three by herding them to their trailer, but had no luck after. In the meantime Dan (Farm Sanctuary) and I hear a couple pigs in the underbrush. We devise a plan and then work at catching the 2 pigs. We manage to catch 1 on that attempt…

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 09

CHERI DEATSCH, 6/24/08: First, we (Dan and Chuck from Farm Sanctuary with Bob Rude, David Halperin, and I from Kinship Circle) begin herding both pigs, who had been lying together in the forested ravine. We use red pig boards to herd them into a makeshift corral… Once in the corral, the pigs run full speed at the fencing — held up only by the five of us… It reminded me of the childhood game Red Rover, where you run at full speed and try to bust through the arms of the other kids holding hands. “Red rover, red rover, send piggy right over!”

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CHERI DEATSCH: The foreground shows Ethan (Best Friends) trying to catchpole the pig, and me to the right behind the “pig board.” In the background is Dan from Farm Sanctuary. It really captures the essence of the chase… It also shows how big that pig really was. He didn’t seem that big at the time! Photo courtesy of Molly Wald, Best Friends Animal Society.

The pigs are so frantic…one manages to escape. We loop a catchpole around the other’s neck. Bob, Chuck and Dan hold the pig on the ground while Dave and I run for the largest dog carrier we can find…

The most amazing thing: The pig who escaped refuses to leave his friend and waits nearby as we load the pig into the carrier. This pig trots behind us down the length of the levee. Then, when we turn our attention to his capture, he runs off. But, he comes back! About an hour or two later, we find him standing outside the trailer where his friend is! I can’t believe his loyalty and attachment. It makes me determined to rescue him, not only to prevent him from a horrible fate, but to reunite him with this other pig to whom he is so obviously attached.

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 12

CHERI: Pigs are so exhausted after their ordeal — without food, water, and shelter for days — that once in the trailer, they immediately lay on top of each other (like they need comfort) despite ample room to spread out.

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 14

LEFT: Newly-rescued pig with badly sunburned ears. RIGHT: Coalition member comforts pig newly-arrived at the staging area. Photos courtesy of Farm Sanctuary,

CHERI DEATSCH 6/25/07: The next day we travel to the Wappello holding area to feed them. They are still so exhausted they won’t even get up when I enter the pen. Again, they’re lying on top of each other sleeping peacefully. They seem so relieved, relaxed and happy to be full and out of the sun. All of them have sunburn so bad their ears are cracked and bleeding. Farm Sanctuary people put aloe vera gel on their sunburn…

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 16

DAVID HALPERIN: When Cheri’s cell phone rings, it plays a classical melody. Momma pig’s (above) ears and head shoot right up. It’s clear she’s never heard such music…and really enjoys it. LEFT: Molly Wald, Best Friends Animal Society. RIGHT: Cheri Deatsch, with Momma

Once I feed them, they actually become playful. Momma pig, who weighs at least 300 lbs, begins tipping over the water… I can’t figure out what she is doing and get nervous because she’s a bit rambunctious. I soon learn it is because she’s making mud in the pen to lie in. So smart! (KINSHIP CIRCLE: Take a pig out of her factory-farm confinement crate. Give her straw, shade, mud…and soon she returns to her natural self: A genuine pig!)


3. Homes Urgently Needed For Rescued Pigs


Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 17

Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 18

All photos in section #3 courtesy of Farm Sanctuary,


7/2/08: Farm Sanctuary’s emergency rescue team is currently on the ground in Oakville, Iowa saving pigs stranded in the Mississippi River floods and providing them with emergency care and temporary shelter… We now have 28 pigs in our custody. Many are in critical condition (suffering from injuries, pneumonia, third degree sunburns) and are receiving urgent care.

We continue to find more and more pigs still alive, surviving against all odds in fields, on levees, anywhere they can find refuge. After this tremendous demonstration of their will to live…they deserve peace and comfort in their lives. PLEASE HELP by providing an adoptive home for as many pigs as you can.

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Kinship Circle - 2008-07-03 - Images From A Flood 20

Many of the rescued pigs swam for their lives to escape deadly flood waters. They were stranded without food or water, injured, sick, frightened, and confused. These pigs need you to give them hope for the future and keep them safe from harm forever.


* Contact our Farm Animal Adoption Network: 607-583-2225 ext. 223,
* Or email shelter [at]
* Or visit us online at
* You can also learn more about pig care at


If you are unable to open your home to animals in need, please consider donating now to our Emergency Rescue Fund, already hard at work funding this critical rescue operation and providing aid to pigs and other farm animals.


4. Tessa’s Reunion


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From ruderanch [at] — Bob Rude, Executive Director of Rude Ranch Animal Rescue, based in Harwood, MD spent a week in Lee County Iowa, working through Kinship Circle to rescue and aid the animal victims of the Midwest flooding. As he was preparing to pack up to head home on Thursday, a frantic call came in: A couple by the name of Tom Marterman and Jerri Shute were desperately trying to locate their 12 year old cat, Tessa.

Unfortunately, Tessa’s house was flooded and destroyed in Oakville. Tom and Jerri were part of the mandatory evacuation from Oakville before the flood waters hit. Tom and Jerri only had about 30 minutes to prepare to leave. They managed to get the three family dogs and their bird in the car, but Tessa got scared and ran off.

Her family ended up camping in a church parking lot while they are trying to figure out what to do. They also kept trying to find Tessa. Tom even went back into town himself in a canoe but couldn’t find her. Finally they called Lee County Fairgrounds and spoke to a volunteer from Animal Protection League of Southeast Iowa. They asked if an older cat with no tail and no teeth had come in… As luck would have it, she was there. Also luckily for Tessa, her family was along Bob’s route to get back to Maryland.

Bob met up with Tessa’s family in Louisa County. Both Tessa and her family were glad to see each other. Yesterday was Jerri’s birthday, and she said seeing Tessa alive and well was the best birthday present!

For further information, contact Kathy at 410-798-9559
Rude Ranch Animal Rescue,


Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Aid Network was enlisted to send volunteers for animal flood victims. DONATIONS are greatly appreciated at this time. Kinship Circle is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible.


DONATE BY MAIL: Kinship Circle
7380 Kingsbury Blvd.; St. Louis, MO 63130

“Kinship Circle is a wonderful animal welfare/disaster aid organization. They are a small but dedicated operation.” Nancy Dieterle, Kinship Circle volunteer at Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City and Lee County Fairgrounds in Donnellson, Iowa.


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