At the beginning of June 2011, the ASPCA was in Joplin, Missouri, sheltering more than 1,000 animals and reuniting pets with their families. At the beginning of June 2012, we returned—and we brought a spay/neuter unit with us.
The ASPCA knows that a community hit hard by a natural disaster doesn’t recover instantly—and neither does its animal welfare community. And so we went back.
Since the tornado, we’ve worked with Joplin authorities to help create an animal disaster plan for southern Missouri. We also granted the Joplin Humane Society the funds it needed to stay afloat while its supporters grappled with the tornado’s aftermath.
We’ve stayed in close contact with Joplin’s animal welfare professionals, which is why we knew Joplin was facing a surge of unwanted puppies and kittens. So last weekend, the ASPCA returned to Joplin to host a spay/neuter clinic for pets of low-income residents and those affected by the tornado, as well as a vaccination clinic for pets who are already spayed or neutered. The event was a smashing success.
“The idea was to continue to help the community,” says ASPCA Director of Spay/Neuter Operations Shelby Davis. “Over time these areas [affected by disasters] get forgotten, even though they still need additional resources down the line.”
Missouri has taken notice of our ongoing commitment to Joplin. That’s why the state honored Tim Rickey and the ASPCA with Missouri Senate Resolution No. 1641 from Robert Mayer, President Pro Tem of the Senate.