Joy Amid Tragedy: Lost Dogs Are Reunited with Owners After Texas Fertilizer Explosion
The Texas fertilizer plant explosion wrecked havoc on the citizens in the town of West, destroying homes and rendering countless others uninhabitable. A lot of those homes had pets. Dozens were abandoned, left indoors, or forced to roam the evacuation zone as their owners fled in terror.
Now the pets are being reunited with their owners. Volunteers have rounded up roughly 60 dogs and other pets from the off-limits area, and they're working through the long process of reuniting them with their owners.
“We’ve had some quick reunions," McLennan Animal Rescue Coalition’s president, Michelle Nemec, told WacoTrib.com. "Social media has made it so fantastic.”
Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, a guinea pig, and even a bearded dragon lizard have been recovered. About one dozen have been returned thus far.
Among the hundreds of volunteers working in the area, "scores" are on the job helping pets and animals affected by the explosion. Matching up the rescued pets with their owners is mostly taking place online, with sites posting pictures of lost and found pets, among them are:
While some people didn't have the time or wherewithal to round up their pets before they fled, many others did.
“We’ve found many of those who were evacuated had time to take their pets,” Nemec told WacoTrib.com. “It’s not like a tornado where there are animals everywhere (who) need to be rounded up.”
Many of those pets, however, were forced into shelters, because their owners had to go to shelters of their own.
As for vet care, an 18-person Texas A&M University emergency veterinary team arrived the day after the explosion. Members of that team have been treating not only pets, but all affected animals -- sheep, horses, even a cow with her calves.
“A lot of the animals were shellshocked. They wanted to know where their people were,” said team spokeswoman Angela Clendenin.