Karissa Hadden is the host of the new Nat Geo WILD series, Animal Storm Squad. The show follows a team of dedicated meteorologists, storm chasers and animal experts who rescue trapped and injured pets. Led by Karissa, a vet tech with a heart of gold, this series takes an inside look at the heroes who save animals’ lives in the worst of times.
This week, Karissa and team are on the scene after a tornado devastated the small town of Van Texas earlier this week. The following is an update from Karissa, who is currently in the field searching for animals and reuniting them with their owners:
What a crazy week we have had so far! Not only has it been intense, it has been emotional. There are no words to describe what the town of Van, Texas has been through and what they have lost. It’s like an atomic bomb has gone off–and not only have they lost personal belongings, they have lost their fur babies. At one point we didn’t even know where to start. Then we came across a house that had been lifted off its foundation and had suffered extreme damage. We noticed the family looking underneath the foundation and our first thoughts were “oh boy what is trapped underneath.”
Well, it was a momma cat and her four kittens. This became our mission right away, save this family of felines and get them back to their owners as soon as possible. After several hours of trying to safely coax the kittens out from underneath, one by one, while keeping our team safe- we had all four kittens and the mom!
It amazes me how resilient and brave this family of kitties remained while being trapped with limited space to move. After doing brief examinations to check for dehydration, lacerations, or broken bones, I was shocked just how great their condition was after all they went through.
To be safe, we took the family to a vet clinic for a full physical exam. The doctor agreed that they were all healthy, and so lucky to be alive. This experience has been humbling, and I know our team is so grateful to be able to help the community of Van out and work alongside some amazing people! Now back to work!
Stay tuned for more updates from the field, and keep an eye out for Animal Storm Squad, coming soon to Nat Geo WILD.