The Animals in Disaster Unit Shelter started on May 5. It was sustained almost completely by donations from residents and groups both from the area and across the country.
“I’m glad to see Alabama as a whole has stepped up,” Bidwell said in an interview in June. “It’s great to see businesses and organizations have such a heart for these animals.”
The shelter was staffed 24 hours a day by volunteers, many of them associated with the Walker County Emergency Management Agency, volunteer fire departments or local Community Emergency Response Teams, which are groups of citizens trained to assist first responders overwhelmed by disasters.
The Animals in Disaster Unit Shelter closed in June, and organizers and volunteers had to send off around 80 pets to foster homes throughout the southeast.
One dog got to stay: a small, white mixed breed named Snow Flake. Organizers kept Snow Flake because she was pregnant, and, on June 27, she gave birth to five puppies (one has already found an adoptive family).
Kristen Martin, one of the Animals in Disaster Unit’s volunteers, and her parents, Vickie and Ron Martin, fostered Snow Flake and her puppies after the shelter closed down.
The Martins gave the puppies temporary nicknames based on each dog’s behavior and characteristics. One is named Snow Shoe because he has six toes on each of his back paws. Another is named Wally Walrus because of his color and size. Though the Martins have adopted Snow Flake, Bidwell is searching for anyone interested in adopting one of the five remaining puppies. Anyone who would like to apply to adopt the puppies can reach Bidwell at 205-388-4516.