An Ellicott City animal shelter is doing what it can to help shelters in West Virginia affected by Thursday's chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in nine counties.
The emergency began Thursday following complaints to West Virginia American Water about a licorice-type odor in the tap water. The source: the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a chemical used to clean coal, which had leaked out of a 40,000-gallon tank at a Freedom Industries facility along the Elk River.
When news of the spill reached volunteers at the Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue early Thursday, they immediately sprang into action organizing a water donation drive for West Virginia's underfunded and high kill rate shelters.
After a Facebook plea for bottled water on Friday, Small Miracles has literally been flooded with volunteers and animal lovers wanting to help.
"We decided to take a truckload of water on Friday and it has just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger," said shelter board member Joan Burdette. Volunteers have already made the seven hour drive three times since Friday, with another drop off planned for Monday.
Burdette said they are still taking donations with no end in sight. A water company executive said it could be days before clean tap water is flowing again for about 300,000 people -- about 15 percent of the state's population -- in nine counties.
If you would like to help you can drop of donations of water, paper towels, sanitizer, and baby wipes to Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue 10236 Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City.