SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On September 5th, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Dakin Humane Society sent three current and one former staff member to New Orleans to help the Louisiana SPCA care for animals left affected by the second most damaging hurricane in that state’s history.
The Dakin team consisted of included Moon Wymore, Esther Coler, Amanda Rock, and former employee Ashley Loehn. Each employee brought their expertise in medical and behavioral skills in handling animals in a shelter setting. Dakin was one of eight groups that worked together to assist the SPCA during the crisis.
Moon Wymore stated, “The majority were animal control field officers,” Wymore continued, “For most of us, the number one thing was helping the SPCA staff. When we arrived many of them were still living at the shelter because their homes were without power or in shambles. Some had taken no days off. We loved being able to provide some relief so those people could go home and not worry about the animals.”
For Wymore and the Dakin team, the hardest part was having to go home. “For us, going home was bittersweet. The Louisiana SPCA remains closed, but animals keep pouring in. As I said goodbye to all our new friends, I saw the first dogs going back into holding crates due to lack of space in the shelter. I was too sad to take a final look before we left. This city and especially the surrounding areas have so much work to do. It was emotional to leave them.”
Dakin’s Executive Director Carmine DiCenso commended the team for their hard work, stating, “The courage and dedication to animals exhibited by these four people is incredible,” he continued, “They braved rough conditions, emotional challenges, intense heat and limited resources to help literally hundreds of needy animals at the Louisiana SPCA during their week there. It’s because of people like them that Dakin is able to offer assistance in a crisis. We’re all very proud of this team because of their commitment to help, and for the sacrifices they made to make a difference.”
Dakin has extensive history of offering aid when disasters take place, having also sent a team to New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and to Puerto Rico in 2017 after Hurricane Maria.