It was hard not to get emotional last night watching Miranda Lambert's vulnerable performance of "The House That Built Me" on the "Healing the Heartland" benefit. She had me reaching for the tissue as she struggled through the second verse of her ballad. The slideshow behind Lambert, my fellow ambassador of animal causes, highlighted the emergency rescue efforts of the American Humane Association's Red Star™ rescue team who were mobilized just days after the tornado hit. With the help of Miranda Lambert and her MuttNation Foundation, Red Star™ was invited by the state of Oklahoma to deploy as an approved first responder to assist pets in need and to help provide emergency rescue operations, sheltering and much needed care to the innocent animals of Moore.
Seeing the smiling faces of the Red Star™ team with the rescued animals made me incredibly proud. They are an exceptional group of individuals committed to getting the residents out of the chaos and on the road to recovery. Over the weekend I received a report from the Operations Specialist on the ground in Moore. Honestly, after seeing countless images of shattered glass, broken bricks, splintered wood and crushed aluminum siding, I was prepared for more tales of loss and heartbreak.
Much to my surprise, the news from Moore was full of optimism and insight. There were stories about effective local authorities, a temporary shelter set up at the fairgrounds and an unprecedented number of good Samaritans going out of their way to help stray animals. It was truly inspiring to hear that there is so much kindness and selflessness alive amidst the rubble in Moore.
The Red Star™ rescue team is expected to stay on in Moore for the next few weeks before returning to their respective homes across the country. After hearing about their efforts in Oklahoma and recalling (not too long ago) their experiences after Hurricane Sandy, I wondered how they recover and mentally prepare for their next deployment. The answer was simple and inspiring; instead of thinking about the forces outside their control and what has already occurred, they narrow their focus and concentrate on the positive change they can affect. These are very good words to live by.
On behalf of animal lovers everywhere, I want to thank the Red Star™ rescue team for their courage and commitment. Even in the darkest moments, we know that as soon as they are on the ground, the lives of everyone - two-legged and four, will immediately be better.