Monday, May 10, 2010

Furry Flood Victims Wait for Owners at Humane Society

Posted By on Mon, May 10, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Not only were hundreds of people displaced by recent flooding around Millington, a number of dogs and cats were left homeless after their owners either abandoned or lost their pets during the evacuation.

More than 30 canine and feline flood victims are being held at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County. Volunteers rescued the animals last Monday after the floodwaters receded. None of the rescues were wearing collars, tags, or microchips identifying owners and addresses.

“We’re holding the animals for 14 days in hopes that their owners will come and get them,” said Amanda McNeely, director of operations for the humane society. “After the 14 days, we’ll spay and neuter them and put them up for adoption.”

About two-thirds of the rescued animals were cats, which McNeely says have a tendency to scatter during disasters. Some chained dogs were set loose by the fire department during rescue operations.

“We do have one pit bull that we found still tied to a fence. We speculate that he had to swim to stay afloat during the flood, so we named him Phelps,” said McNeely referring to Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps. “We talked to several people whose animals drowned in the flood,” McNeely said. “Once the Shady Oaks Trailer Park started flooding, the police wouldn’t let residents go back into their trailers. One man had a puppy in a crate because it was rambunctious, and they wouldn’t let him in to get his puppy.”

Anyone who has lost a pet during the flood should visit the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County at 935 Farm Road to see if their pet is being held there. Any pets left after two weeks will be made available for adoption by the general public.

— Bianca Phillips

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