As time passes after the powerful tornado that devastated Joplin MO, shelter workers prepare to find homes for hundreds of unclaimed pets in an Adopt-a-thon event on June 24-25. Meanwhile, displaced animals continue to be found and brought to the shelter.
The Joplin Humane Society resumed normal operating procedures earlier this week, after being in emergency mode following the devastating tornado of May 22, meaning strays will once again be held for only 7 days before being made available for adoption
JHS, in conjunction with the ASPCA in a large-scale emergency facility, has sheltered over 1000 pets and has successfully reunited over 400 cats, dogs, birds, fish, and others with their families. Several hundred displaced animals still remain at the shelter, which has been open seven days a week, twelve hours a day during the crisis period. In some cases, families are unable to house or care for their pets and must give them up.
Shortly before the May 15 resumption of normal adoption practices Joplin native and ASPCA Field Investigations and Response senior director Tim Rickey announced that “Our emergency shelter continues to serve rescued animals and displaced pets in the community, but we are now looking toward placement options as we start to demobilize our operation. Nearly 700 animals are still waiting to be reunited with their families, and we want to give residents every opportunity to claim their pets. We urge anyone who is missing their pet to visit our emergency shelter as soon as possible or contact the Joplin Humane Society.”
Executive Director Karen Aquino is quoted in an AP report saying “We feel we’ve exhausted every avenue to get the word out. We’ve placed 250 yard signs. We have posters at food and donation distribution points, public service announcements on radio and TV, ads in the newspaper — everything we could think of to let people know their pets might be here if they’re missing.”
Further, the Facebook page Animals Lost & Found from the Joplin, MO tornado has provided high-profile lost and found bulletin board services, as well as photo galleries and links to Flickr photo galleries, to help reunite pets and their families.
JHS has made every effort to reunite pets with their families, and now that the post-disaster effort enters its final phase they are approaching rehoming with the same dedication and energy as they did the emergency sheltering phase. The shelter will hold a widely publicised Adopt-a-thon event on the weekend of June 24-25, when pets who have not been reclaimed by their families will be given away free of charge to good homes, all having been spayed or neutered. The shelter says it is determined to find a good home for each and every animal found in the aftermath of the tornado.
Sources, Joplin Independent and AP