PORTLAND, Ore. — Laura Klink, of the Oregon Humane Society (OHS), is spending the week feeding and training dogs. She will tell you it makes her happy.
"It's very, very fulfilling and gratifying to be able to do this work," Klink said.
Klink spoke to KGW from Tennessee. She has been there since Monday as part of the humane society's disaster response team to help with dogs that were displaced by Hurricane Ida.
"I feel personally passionate about helping people and pets when there is a crisis situation," she said.
Hurricane Ida forced the evacuation of numerous animal shelters in Louisiana. After dogs from those shelters were sent to Tennessee, Klink and her team were ready to help.
"A lot of our roll here is the care and feeding but getting to know these dogs, getting to know their personalities, doing some basic training with them," Klink said.
As Klink and her five colleagues from Oregon work with the dogs, she cannot help but think about the shelter workers back in Louisiana.
"There were people who loved and cared for these dogs for many months," she said. "It's a big responsibility I feel to provide this great care for them so they're ready for their next chapter."
Klink is accustomed to this sort of work. She deployed to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She went to St. Croix following Hurricane Maria in 2017. The very next year Klink was in California to assist the animals displaced by the Camp Fire.
"Every deployment is different," she said. "Every natural disaster is different."
This deployment, Klink said, will last through the upcoming weekend. Then it is back to the Pacific Northwest until the next call for help.
"There's that saying that when you give, you get more back. And I feel this work is fulfilling," Klink said.
According to Klink, there are no plans to bring any of the dogs back to Oregon. In all likelihood they will go to shelters in Virginia and South Carolina. Klink said the Oregon Humane Society is full of animals needing forever homes if you are interested.