KILLEN, Ala. — Thursday afternoon was warm and sunny at Heart of Alabama Save Rescue Adopt in Killen. It was a stark contrast to the days a winter storm immobilized much of The Shoals a week earlier.
HASRA president and founder Debbie Rappuhn said she was a bit skeptical at first when the forecast called for snow and ice.
“Because you know how it is; they’ll say you’re going to get some snow and you don’t so we really didn’t think it was coming,” Rappuhn said. “But then the night that it started, we were getting worried because a lot of the people live in the county—they live on backroads and hills that we didn’t know who could get up here.”
Travel concerns for HASRA employees took a backseat to a different issue. The weight of the snow and ice on the roof of some of the dog pens caused them to tear and cave in.
The shelter is using tarps for a temporary fix, but they don’t cover the pens completely. Rappuhn said those roofs are needed to protect the dogs during different weather conditions.
“When it’s 90 degrees out here or 100 degrees, we had 102, on this concrete, think about what that feels like; we can’t stand it,” Rappuhn said.
Rappuhn said the HASRA staff is trying their best to get everything back to normal for the safety of the dogs but repairing the damaged pens won’t be a quick fix.
“The items—just can’t go to Walmart and buy those,” Rappuhn said. “You can’t buy roofs for the pens that fit. You just can’t get them here so we’re having to order them, we’re having to find them.”
Rappuhn said HASRA is a 501(C)(3) and relies on donations for funding. To donate to help the shelter replace the roofs on the dog pens, you can connect with them on Facebook or visit the