The massive explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed up to 80 homes in the Richmond Hills subdivision in Indianapolis, Indiana Saturday night has been disruptive and devastating to the neighborhood’s pets along with its human residents.
Some residents clung to their animals as they evacuated, while others left their pets behind. Neighborhood residents returning to pick up needed belongings are learning that their pets are missing or, in some cases, did not survive. Many houses were left open as residents fled, and many are now lacking windows and doors.
As in any disaster, especially one so sudden and frightening, the neighborhood’s cats and dogs were terrified and compelled to hide or flee. “The animals instinctively try to get away from the situation,” said Care and Control Administrative Director Dan Shackle.
“The situation down there is unbelievable but we were happy to rescue some of the animals that were affected. I did go into some houses yesterday and the dog or cat was hiding under the bed and wouldn’t respond to its owner and the owner had to go look for it,” Shackle said.
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control is stepping in to help, offering to board displaced pets for up to 10 days at no charge. Animal care and Control was out in the neighborhood in a rescue effort on Sunday, and planned to return with IndyFeral.
Indyferal staff and volunteers planned to work with Animal Care and Control today, putting out humane traps in the neighborhood and surrounding areas to try to capture some of the missing cats and dogs and reunite them with their families. They have been notified about several pets whose families have reported them as missing.
Animal Care and Control took in two cats and two dogs on Sunday. A traumatized miniature pinscher dog found by firefighters was dragging a security blanket everywhere she went. The dogs were reclaimed by their families. One cat, though safe at the shelter, was distressed and would not eat the food given to her.
Richmond Hill residents search for pets