DENVER (CBS4) – On May 22nd a massive tornado hit Joplin, Mo., killing 151 people and destroying 8,000 buildings. It also left 700 cats and dogs homeless
The Humane Society in Joplin is using warehouses to shelter the pets. This coming weekend there will be an all-out effort to find the animals homes.
The animals are spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. People are being asked to go to Joplin and give the dogs and cats, who have been through so much, a new start.
“We’ve had 8,000 homes in this community destroyed, people have lost their jobs, people have been injured; they may have lost their loved ones, some of the owners of these animals may have perished themselves,” Tim Ricky with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.
One-hundred of the animals are recovering from injuries or too young yet to be adopted. But 600 unclaimed pets are now ready to find homes.
“Six-hundred animals is a lot of animals to adopt out,” Ricky said. “We’re going to need people to step in, open their hearts and open their homes and give these animals a second chance.”
Rickey expects to see animal lovers from across the country.
“We’ve gotten e-mails and phone calls from people in Texas and Colorado and Arizona and many other states,” he said.
Pets not adopted this weekend may end up traveling. The Denver Dumb Friends League has a history of taking in animals from disaster areas. The Dumb Friends League and other Colorado shelters may be asked to open their doors again.
The Dumb Friends League may be sending a team to help with the adopt-a-thon in Joplin this weekend. If the staff members go, they may be bringing back animals for adoption.
There are no adoption fees for the animals.