Makeshift supply chain

Makeshift supply chain

Hospital serves as temporary staging area to get needed supplies into flood-ravaged areas
Oct 01, 2005

A flood of donations reaches Louisiana.
ALEXANDRIA, LA. — Sandy Grantham, office manager of Alexandria Animal Clinic, couldn't have predicted her role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Working 150 miles from New Orleans in a city not even sustaining a drop of Katrina moisture, Grantham found herself dealing with a new kind of flood.

Donations. They were pouring in.

In fact, Alexandria Animal Clinic turned into a kind of makeshift staging area for veterinary supplies in the early days following the storm. The hospital's owner Dr. David McGraw, former president of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, was placed on FEMA's donations contact list. The hospital has been hopping ever since.

For Grantham, her task was to organize the web of supplies from large and small animal health manufacturers. It included pet foods, flea and tick products, vaccines, heartworm preventives, cages, leashes and even feeding dishes. All the major companies were giving in major ways, and so were small companies, Grantham says.

Concerned people from across the country been have calling to help, she reports. In fact, the clinic's four telephone lines have been ringing non-stop from a nation of people wanting to either donate money or adopt displaced pets.

In the early days, Grantham and the hospital staff of Alexandria Animal Clinic will be credited with coordinating and sending out about three, 18-wheeler loads of animal health stuff to needed areas, especially Louisiana State University, a main shelter for displaced animals.

"I have never done anything like this in my life," Grantham adds. "I'm just doing the best I can. I'd like to load up a boat and go rescue animals. I don't feel like what I'm doing is adequate, but it's all I can do."