ST. LOUIS – The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force has been in existence since the 1960s, serving in rescue and disaster response situations. They are part of our Spirit of St. Louis campaign and couldn’t continue their efforts without your assistance. A team of 13 dedicated investigators and dispatching agents traverse Missouri and other parts of the US to rescue, rehab, and rehome animals who are in abuse or disaster situations. “If conditions can not improve or that animal is in immediate danger then you have to act swiftly and we will work with law enforcement to make sure that that happens,” said Debbie Hill, vice president of operations at HSMO. Floods, tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms; whatever the emergency, this team responds throughout our city, state, and beyond to care for those with no voice. “The bond between humans and animals is so strong that they are part of that family unit and so as that blossoms and grows so does the recognition of what our animals need and how important they are to us, we respond when no one else can,” Hill said. The task force tries to work with the owners first to change the situation and keep the animal in the home if conditions can improve or not. “It is a crime to abuse and neglect animals and in that way, we can help intervene on that animal’s behalf and they can actually be removed from that bad situation,” Hill said. Recent funding has allowed for them to purchase their newest disaster response trailer that can house a rescue of a large number of animals, sometimes up to 100 at a single location. “We have the animal transport vehicles that is climate-controlled so that the animals are provided everything they need to be safely housed and or transported,” Hill said. They also partner with shelters in other states and that’s how 3.5-month-old Rock came to them. “(Rock’s) an example of the type of animal we may get whether it’s on disaster response or animal rescue and without us, they may not get the help that they need,” Hill said. They have traveled 300,000 miles in the past 12 months, assisted almost 20,000 animals, and almost 9,000 responses to animal abuse or neglect concerns. “Without that lifeline, they will perish,” Hill said. You can help the Humane Society of Missouri continue their work with the Task Force by logging on to our websites fox2now.com and kplr11.com for our Spirit of St. Louis campaign. To volunteer and to adopt log on to hsmo.org.