Residents displaced by flood have safe option for pets

Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control provide temporary haven

Animal control officer Michell Timm holds Jasmine, a pit bull temporarily housed at Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control due to flood evacuations, while Dr. Randy Ackman administers a rabies vaccine in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. CRACC is taking in pets whose families are evacuated from the flood zone, and updating vaccinations, deworming and microchipping on arrival. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Animal control officer Michell Timm holds Jasmine, a pit bull temporarily housed at Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control due to flood evacuations, while Dr. Randy Ackman administers a rabies vaccine in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. CRACC is taking in pets whose families are evacuated from the flood zone, and updating vaccinations, deworming and microchipping on arrival. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — June Dillon tears up as she talks about leaving her “kids,” Beaugard and Buddy, at Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control for a few days because she’s evacuating her home at the Roosevelt Apartments downtown.

“I just moved in last month,” Dillon said Monday, looking down at Beaugard, a rat terrier, and Buddy, a Japanese Chin. “It’s going to be hard to leave them. My kids moved out a long time ago so these are my kids now.”

Dillon said the 16-month-old puppies are “best buddies” and she worried they would be separated. But a shelter employee assured her they would be together.

Dillon was happy she and others who have evacuated their homes for the threat of flooding have the option of taking their pets to the city shelter at 900 76th Ave. Drive SW until they can return to their homes.

Director Diane Webber said the shelter has taken in mostly cats and dogs but would accept most pets from residents displaced by the flood.

“We had one rabbit brought in and had to get a cage for him, but we’ll take almost any animal,” Webber said. “We have taken in about 70, so far. Back in 2008, we took in 1,300 during the flood.”

The shelter also has overflow areas, if needed, and can temporarily board about 30 more dogs and about 60 cats, Webber said. If yet more room is needed, Kirkwood Community College’s animal health department will provide emergency shelter.

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Residents must provide a photo identification of themselves and any vaccination records and any special food requirements for the pets during their stay, Webber said. The owners aren’t required to bring food unless the pet is on a special diet.

Owners also are requested to bring the animals’ collars and leashes.

The pets will be vaccinated, including a rabies shot, if they aren’t up to date and each will have a microchip implanted to ensure identification and return to the proper owners, Webber said.

Owners may bring in their pets from noon to 5 p.m. every day this week and may visit their pets from 3 to 5 p.m. daily.

Webber said people have donated pet food to the shelter, which is available to any pet owner affected by the flood who needs help with pet food. The donations are limited, so she suggests calling first.

The shelter isn’t open to the public this week and is not allowing adoptions or strays to be dropped off.

Those wanting more information can call Animal Care and Control at (319) 286-5993.

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