Suburban Animal Rescue raises donations for pets and people affected by devastating Kentucky floods – NBC Chicago

Volunteers from a suburban group collect and organize donations, ranging from food and water to cleaning supplies and clothing, to send to people facing catastrophic and deadly flooding in the Southeast.

Starfish Animal Rescue has been transporting dogs and cats from high-mortality shelters in Kentucky to safe, destruction-free facilities in the Chicago area for eight years. They partner with several regional rescues, shelters and advocacy organizations to rehome the animals.

Now volunteers are temporarily shifting their focus from pets to humans.

“The main thing the animals need is food. We have a lot of gifts. But we have to take care of the people who have lost absolutely everything,” said volunteer Ken Young.

“In a week or two we’ll probably be inundated with dogs. Hopefully we’ll be inundated with them because that means they survived, so that would be good,” Young said.

The donations are stored in an industrial facility in the western suburbs of Geneva. Volunteers pack sprinter vans which then transport several shipments per week. On Saturday, they expect a new arrival of animals requiring a foster family.

“Probably every other day we’ll have another van full of supplies that people have donated. It’s amazing,” Young said.

His wife, Debbie, also volunteers with the organization. She says the most needed items right now are snow shovels, rubber boots, tents, cleaning supplies and portable showers.

“Think about it – if your house was swept away, what’s your first need? I need something to drink, something to eat, something to clean up,” Debbie Young said.

“There are still hundreds of people missing. People have lost absolutely everything. It takes a village. We need to help each other.”

Donations will benefit flood victims in Breathitt, Perry, Knott and Letcher counties.

NBC Chicago

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