People lining up to help humans, animals in TN wildfires - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

People lining up to help humans, animals in TN wildfires

People in the Louisville area are doing what they can to help those hurt by the wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (Source: WBIR) People in the Louisville area are doing what they can to help those hurt by the wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (Source: WBIR)
Tabitha Pickens (Source: WAVE 3 News) Tabitha Pickens (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Neal Dawson (Source: WAVE 3 News) Neal Dawson (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - People in the Louisville area are doing what they can to help those hurt by the wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In many cases, volunteers have decided on their own to head to the area to help both humans and animals who have become victims of the fires.

After getting in touch with the Sevier County Humane Society that's in desperate need, Spencer County Animal Control Officer Tabitha Pickens started asking for donations of food and supplies this week for hundreds of fire victims who cannot get to their beloved animals.

"Those pets may still be trapped in a home or somewhere or they may have been picked up or they're out roaming around and those people don't know if their pets have even made it out alive," Pickens said.

Pickens, who was once stationed in the Air National Guard just outside of Knoxville, has many friends and colleagues in the area.

"They need help and you know, I'm doing what I can to go down there and help them," Pickens said.

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Everyone seems to have a connection. As Pickens was renting a cargo van for supplies at Thrifty Rental Car on Crittenden Drive, the clerk told her she also has friends there. Across town, a Louisville man who owns a cleaning business said the news clips from Tennessee caused him to move to action.

Neal Dawson told us what he's collecting.

"Clothes and blankets, jackets, deodorant, toothpaste," he said, "I mean you just name it, they need it."

Dawson said he called up the Salvation Army in the Gatlinburg area to ask what was needed. From children's toys to basic supplies, he's taking donations Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the afternoon, at Southeast Christian Church off Blankenbaker Parkway. 

"I still tear up you know," he said of seeing the news reports, "I was just there a couple of months ago and I can't wait to see them rebuild."

Money is needed most, donations can be made to the American Red Cross and to Dolly Parton’s My People Fund on dollywoodfoundation.org. For pets just head to the Sevier County Humane Society Facebook page to make a donation.

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