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Displaced Pets in Iowa Floods Find Shelter

Here's an article on what's being done to help family pets in the flooding that's occurring in Iowa. As the situation deteriorated, flood victims, many...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Jul 8th 2008

Here’s an article on what’s being done to help family pets in the flooding that’s occurring in Iowa.

As the situation deteriorated, flood victims, many staying in hotels, shelters or cars, began dropping off pets at the college. Others, who had been forced to flee without their pets, began calling in with pleas for their animals to be rescued. Within days, what had started as a makeshift shelter had grown into a sprawling operation housing nearly 1,000 animals dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, lizards, even a red-eared slider turtle in three buildings.

With the influx of animals came an infusion of aid. Several national chain stores donated supplies. Veterinary technicians came from as far away as California to volunteer, and legions of veterinarians, groomers and even flood victims soon arrived at the shelter wanting to help.

It’s great to see people and organizations aiding those affected in the region. Also nice to see is that we are learning from past disasters.

One of the lessons driven home after Hurricane Katrina in which an estimated 200,000 animals were displaced was that some residents risked, and lost, their lives rather than leave a beloved pet behind.

The biggest thing learned by everyone from Katrina is the importance of animals in peoples lives, said Diane Webber, disaster preparedness director for the Humane Society of the United States. They cant be excluded from disaster planning and response. People arent going to function and theyre not going to evacuate if their animals arent provided for.

Still, there’s much pain and sorrow inflicted by the persistent rains. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for many an owner-pet reunion in the near future.

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