Power failure endangers lives of hundreds of shelter animals

Power failure puts animal shelter at risk

EL CENTRO, Calif. - The Imperial Valley Humane Society was hit by yet another power failure on Thursday afternoon. Staff and volunteers had to work by flashlight.

Director Devon Apodaca said, “This happened about a week ago and we thought we had the issue resolved, but apparently we didn’t.”

Hundreds of dogs and cats there have had to endure the heat and humidity.

“Within the last three weeks we’ve had – it’s been like one emergency after the other,” Apodaca said.

He said it’s a difficult and dangerous situation for the animals.

“The heat affects the animals the same way it would affect people. You can only tolerate it so much. And so that’s why we’re constantly working, working, working, asking people for donations. Asking people to donate ice blocks, getting fans, getting this cooling system installed so that the animals don’t succumb to heat-related issues,” Apodaca said.

A couple of El Centro residents were on hand on Thursday when the power failure hit.

“These animals have nowhere to go. They can’t tell you, I’m hot. I need this. Can I get water? They don’t have the voice except for ours,” Cherokee Ashley Turner said.

“If I’m hot in here, it feels like a sauna, I can’t imagine what they’re experiencing 24/7. Here they’re in these hot conditions,” Lilian Sandoval said.

Turner said tragedy could strike the animals at any time under extreme weather conditions.

“Heat stroke. If it gets too high they can have a heart attack,” Turner said.

It’s not just the animals which are in danger. An electrician told the director the entire facility needed new wiring – that it was becoming a fire and safety hazard.

“When you have a power outage and you have 500 hundred animals in a little tiny building...,” Devon wondered.

Anyone wishing to donate or contact the I.V. Humane Society for more information, can do so through their Facebook page.

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