ANIMALS

Animals also suffering because of power outages

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Like many local homes and businesses, the Washington Animal Rescue League had lost power during Friday's storms.

Derecho 2012: A look back at the deadly storm

Derecho 2012: A look back at the deadly storm 89 Photos
Derecho 2012: A look back at the deadly storm

Tuesday night, the shelter had power restored. But, until late Tuesday, staff members had said that there was no word from Pepco about the status of the outage.

“We've called the emergency line, any line we can think of and we can't even get an estimate, a gauge of how long it might be out,” says shelter director Maureen Sosa.

In the meantime, they've found foster homes for a few of the older animals and they've received a steady stream of donations of ice, towels and blankets from rescue league supporters.

“If you can imagine how hot you are, can you imagine how much hotter they are?” says Laurel resident Banaj Edmond. “With the fur and everything. And they're suffering. And it's like we can help ourselves but they can't.”

Shelter officials say, throughout the outage, that their top priority has been keeping this medical center open and operational. Thanks to a couple of generators and several donations of gasoline, they've been able to do just that.

The shelter is currently caring for more than 100-animals. To keep them cool, staff and volunteers are distributing all of that ice.

They've set up a network of giant fans and they're running rotations, hosing them down.

“Dogs especially, if you get their feet wet because they do lose a lot of heat through their footpads,” says medical director Jan Rosen.

The Prince George’s County animal management division also went dark Friday night. But power was restored Tuesday afternoon.

At the Washington animal rescue league, the outage continues. But so does the outpouring of support.

“My first thought was, what can I possibly do, how can I help?” says NW D.C. resident Donald Hirsch.

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