Tri-Cities veterinarian recounts animal survival stories from Sevier Co. wildfires

Dr. Howell said many animals suffered burns. Source: Sevier County Humane Society

GREENEVILLE, TN (WJHL) – A Tri-Cities veterinarian spent the weekend in Sevier County helping animals impacted by the recent wildfires.

Dr. Vickie Howell of Vet Care Animal Hospital in Greeneville volunteered at the Sevier County Humane Society’s temporary shelter at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. She said she was one of about 10 veterinarians that treated nearly 100 animals in the clinic and triage areas of the shelter.

“They [the animals] have the same injuries that the people have had, mostly burns. It’s so overwhelming for someone to come and it’s so overwhelming to hear the stories about the pets,” Dr. Howell said.

She heard several incredible stories of animal survival. She recounted one about a cat that was rescued from a swimming pool and suffered severe burns to its eyelids, ears, lips, and nose.

“She’s been treading water in the family swimming pool, coming up for air and trying to get air and that’s why her face was burned and you’re seeing more and more of that with each one of these animals that are coming in.”

She said, because of that, the humane society needs pain medications. Dr. Howell said, “These animals are in tremendous pain we’ve got to maintain a low pain level for them.” She said her clinic already ordered pain medications for the shelter and plans on taking them down later this week. She hopes other area veterinarians will contact the humane society and donate more medicine.

She said the shelter also needs more volunteers, especially trained veterinarians and vet technicians, to relieve the people who have been volunteering for the last week. “It’s our job now, the second line, to come in and give them a break and take over. And they’ll be another line behind us.”

If you are interested in helping the Sevier County Humane Society you should visit their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on donation needs or to donate money. You can also sign-up for a time to volunteer.

Dr. Howell is also accepting donations for the shelter. Donations can be dropped off at 710 Professional Plaza Drive in Greeneville or you can call Vet Care Animal Hospital at 423-638-2273.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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