Flower Essences Assist In
Preventing Animal Panic Attacks

Animal Rights Group in Norway, Maine, Sets Up Emergency
Shelter During Winter, 1998 Ice Storm Disaster

by T. M. D'illon

In January 1998, Maine was rocked by ice storms so severe it was declared a federal disaster area. A report released by a Norway, Maine, animal rights group, Voice for Animals, noted that Rescue Remedy was used in an emergency animal shelter to prevent panic attacks. (This emergency combination is also known as Five Flower Formula and Calming Essence.)

The essences were administered by Dr. Don McLean, a local veterinarian. "I put nine drops of Rescue Remedy in a mister containing two ounces of spring water," he explained. "The mister was shaken up and down, not side to side. We misted the whole area, and it was very effective in keeping the stress level down. I put the drops directly into the animal's water with those having a particularly tough time."

A member of Voice for Animals, who is also a local pet store owner, donated her shop to serve as a shelter. Approximately 250 animals were cared for including iguanas, rabbits, rats, mice, snakes, more than 100 birds, and a chinchilla.

Dr. McLean administered Rescue Remedy mainly to the dogs and cats, "who have difficulty relocating — even under the best conditions." Over 50 cats and 48 dogs were sheltered.

"There was one cairn terrier who was very stressed," Dr. McLean recalled. "I misted around him and in about 20 minutes he calmed down."

Apart from flower essences, other factors were crucial to the success of the emergency shelter. The dogs were given regular walks. Owners visited their pets, and some even made phone calls so the pets could hear their voices.

"Frankly, I expected disaster," McLean admitted. "I had worked at emergency shelters before and seen when one animal was brought in with a disease. In very cramped quarters, with not enough heat or ventilation, with dirty cages...and the next thing you know there is an epidemic. But because of the flower essences, the walks, the love shown by the people who contributed, disaster did not happen."

McLean, originally from Oregon, has used flower essences as a supporting modality in his practice for approximately three years. He mainly uses the emergency combination for acute conditions of stress and has also used Larch and Chicory. "I have a mixed practice," he said, "conventional methods and alternatives. I also utilize herbs, acupressure and acupoints."

Dr. McLean had high praise for the many volunteers who helped Voice for Animals in the evacuation. "I did the least of anybody, really. I came in, made a couple of suggestions...sent a few of the really bad animals to the vet hospital. It was all the others who retreived the stranded animals, organized the shelter, cleaned the cages, did the feeding, kept the place warm. They were just great."

The pet shop served as the emergency animal shelter from January 8-February 7, 1998.

For further information regarding Voice for Animals, please contact Caryl McIntire at (207) 363-8122, or Kris McAllister at The Little Jungle pet shop, (207) 743-0356. Or write to: Voice for Animals, P.O. Box 513, York, ME 03909.

from telephone interview November 20, 1998


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