Search For Alabama Pets Continues Weeks After Tornadoes

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More than two weeks after devastating tornadoes tore through the southern US, teams and individuals are still working to rescue cats and dogs who are lost and separated from their families.

The family pets of many Tuscaloosa, Alabama residents are still missing, and have been since tornadoes tore through the area on April 27.  Those working in in the field say that many displaced animals are likely to be unable to find their way home in the now unfamiliar landscape created by the large scale destruction

Teams from the Humane Society of the United States, along with other organizations, are still searching for stray animals and lost pets amid the rubble.

More than 350 dogs, cats, birds, ducks, raccoons, snakes, lizards, and a tarantula have reportedly been found in devastated Tuscaloosa neighborhoods, and the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter erected tents to provide greater space for displaced animals once their building was full. Along with the animals rescued from the rubble, the shelter has taken in animals whose families are now unable to care for them.  Some local residents have become foster caregivers and have taken animals into their homes.

Canadian-based Pethealth has stepped in to help with Tuscaloosa’s huge influx of lost and found pets, and their pet adoption web site Petango has listed animals in the care of the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, more than 130 found pets listed in their database, most with photos.

Those who have lost animals are advised to check the lists for animals matching their missing pets’ description.  They are further advised to post their pet’s information to the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter’s list of lost pets.  Found pets can also be posted on a separate list.

“The number of animals in need here is overwhelming. When we’re not working on the administrative tasks of updating profiles and entering pets into the database, we’re scanning for microchips, cleaning kennels, facilitating visitors and offering comfort where we can.”

Jorge Ortega, Pethealth’s regional director of shelter outreach

AP Photo

After nearly three weeks pet animals still remain lost amid the rubble, along with strays.  The animals are known to creep out at night in search of food after the day’s hubbub from working heavy machinery dies down, so rescuers took to setting traps every night in their efforts to catch them.

The Tuscaloosa search and rescue efforts by HSUS were said to run at least through this past weekend, while the other efforts are expected to continue.

Other outside individuals and organizations continue to gather donations of food and other supplies to help the displaced pets of Tuscaloosa and elsewhere in the devastated region.

One notable effort was conducted by the Bay County Animal Control, of Bayou George, which held a pet food drive last week to benefit animals displaced by the Alabama tornadoes. The drive began Monday, May 9, and in five days  Bay County residents donated over 900 pounds of dog and cat food for the pets in need,  according to Animal Control Director Bill Olasin.

Cousins Hannah and Haly Baggett sand with some of the pet supplies they took from Tennessee to Alabama for tornado relief. The pair are planning to make another run to the region and are asking local residents and businesses to chip in and help fill their van and 28-foot trailer with more food and supplies.

1 thought on “Search For Alabama Pets Continues Weeks After Tornadoes”

  1. Reunite these beautiful animilal with their loving homes. These rescue people are so caring and giving. How rewarding to help these wonderful cats and dogs!

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