Hurricane Charley Update; How You Can Help

Things are settling down for the animals in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, said Alan Schwartz of Days End Farm Horse Rescue of Lisbon, Md., on Aug. 23. "We treated a couple of horses, a bull, some pigs and goats, mostly for puncture or debris wounds," said Schwartz. "A large animal vet we've worked with said he's seen a few colics lately." Schwartz said the biggest concern at this point for horses is clean drinking water.

"The heat has been brutal, and it's very humid," he reported. "We've had massive rain storms nearly every afternoon. The Peace River Is over its banks, and you can smell it a half-mile away. That's because there's no power for the waste treatment plants."

The Peace River usually is touted as one of the best of Florida's State Canoe Trails.

Code 3 Associates brought their "big truck" to Florida. This is a fully equipped semi-truck that can handle large and small animal triage. Schwartz said three vets and four vet techs from the University of Florida are currently working out of Code 3, and the personnel have been rotating from the university. The Code 3 truck also has a 350-gallon water tank, so one of their jobs has been to carry fresh water to farms.

How You Can Help
Schwartz said the local humane societies have been hard hit during this crisis. He suggested anyone making donations might want to split their funds between the emergency agencies that are prepared to respond to any disaster in the United States, such as Days End (15856 Frederick Road, Lisbon, Md., 21765; 301/854-5037 or 410/442-1564; E-Mail:;, Code 3 (Code 3 Associates, PO Box 1128, Erie, Colo. 80516; 1530 Skyway Drive, Longmont, Colo. 80504; 303/772-7724; fax 303/485-6210;, and the Humane Society of the United States (, and also give to the local humane societies, such as the Hardee, Desoto, Okaloosa, and Hillsboro ( County humane societies.

Donations to the Dosoto County Humane Society can be sent to Big Lake National Bank, 1601 East Oak Street, Arcadia, Fla. 34266. Please include Account #266795 on the check, and note that the donation should be applied toward animal care, Desoto Board of County Commissioners, Desoto Disaster Relief.

The Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) is recruiting manpower and donations to help affected veterinary practices in areas hit by Charley. According to the FVMA, the majority of veterinary practices (all species) in the Charlotte, De Soto and Hardee Counties have been seriously affected. Specifically, practices in the communities of Port Charlotte, North Port, Bonita Springs, and Punta Gorda have been the hardest hit. Many of these practices face major structural damage that will put them out of business for a considerable length of time. The FVMA is seeking veterinarians and technicians who are willing to be assigned to mobile veterinary facilities over the next few weeks. Additionally, tax-deductible donations can be made directly to the FVMA Foundation, 7131 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, FL 32789. Indicate if the donation is to be used either in whole or part for medical care, humanitarian care, or leave it unspecified. To make credit card donations call the FVMA helpline at 800/992-3862. All money collected will be spent on projects resulting from Hurricane Charley.

The Hardee County Animal Control is in need of fencing. According to Teresa Carver, part of the county's emergency support staff, the hurricane didn't necessarily affect the area as much as the flooding. There are many small horse farms that are in need of fencing supplies, including posts, wire, and electric fence. If you would like to make a cash or fencing donation, please contact Carver at 863/773-2320.

We will update contribution information as it becomes available.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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