15 goats rescued from Eagle Lake neighborhood

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

EAGLE LAKE — As traffic streamed in and out of the Eagle Lake community Tuesday, moving people and belongings, a rescue crew wrestled to corral 15 goats to be moved to drier climes.

“That’s my little family,” said the Rev. Willie A. McQuay, 79, who lives on Lottie Mae Lane.

He was leaving the lake for Vicksburg today, but first … the goats.

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“I’ve had them since 1998. I don’t need ’em, or want ’em, but I can’t let ’em just sit here and die,” he said as Georgia Lynn, director of the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society, driver Kenny Moore, Sherrif’s Investigator Mike Traxler, Deputy Adam McGahey and McQuay friend Preston Mann worked for 90 minutes to secure the goats in a trailer — their own little Noah’s ark — to be driven to Silver Creek Equestrian Club in Bovina, a refuge for animals who have been or will be affected by the Mississippi River as it climbs to historic levels.

The goats were among 38 animals Lynn gathered Tuesday.

“The phone’s been ringing off the hook,” she said. “I want people to know that if they were thinking about adopting a pet, or looked at a pet for adoption, now would be a good time.”

At the equestrian club, Mary Jane Wooten said the facilities also will be a refuge for displaced horses. She said there’s room for about 20 horses.

At Paws Rescue, a no-kill shelter run out of volunteers’ homes, Leigh Conerly said the need is dire.

“We need to find homes for these animals,” she said, adding that she had fielded at least 10 calls on Tuesday, one of which came from the City of Vicksburg’s animal shelter on Old Mill Road.

“They called to see if we had any room,” Conerly said.

Eldridge Skinner of the Vicksburg Animal Control said this morning he expects the city facility to flood and he has about 40 animals there now.

“We want to make sure the animals are safe,” said Skinner. “We are making progress contacting other shelters and doing everything we can.”

Domesticated animals will not be the only ones affected by the rising river. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks spokesman Jim Walker said wild boars will be in areas they have never been seen before.

Alligators and snakes will be driven to higher ground as well, he said.

At Tara Wildlife, where Mississippi’s white-tail deer are plentiful, Gilbert Rose and his staff were packing up the office and evacuating.

He said wildlife will be affected, but he couldn’t tell in what ways or to what extent until the river crests.