Number of Displaced Dogs, Cats Grows in Midwest

Iowa emergency shelters are inundated with pets after animal control headquarters was flooded.

The number of homeless pets in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, continues to swell as more animals arrive at emergency shelters.

The emergency Cedar Rapids animal shelter set up at Kirkwood Community College has taken in 1,000 displaced animals. An estimated 85 percent of the animals have owners, according to Kirkwood Animal Health staff.

In addition to the pet dogs and cats, the shelter’s animal tally includes birds, rodents, lizards, and ferrets. The Kirkwood rescue effort mobilized after the Cedar Rapids Animal Control headquarters was flooded.

Animal rescue organizations have issued emergency relief grants to assist shelters in the Midwest with the pet overflow. In response to the severe flooding, International Fund for Animal Welfare, American Humane Association, and Animal Rescue League of Boston teamed up to help local animal control.

Staging at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Quincy, Ill., the three groups set up a temporary shelter, which also grows each day. The residents include fawns, horses, chickens, dogs, and kittens.

As the floodwaters recede, the continued efforts of rescue groups are expected to add to the number of animals that are transported to emergency housing. Shelter volunteers expect more people will start to reclaim their pets as cleanup efforts progress.

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