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It's Raining Cats & Dogs

Shelters scramble to help animals after Oklahoma tornadoes

Austin Brock holds cat Tutti, shortly after the animal was retrieved from the rubble of Brock's home, which was demolished a day earlier when a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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People weren't the only ones impacted by the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, pets and livestock were also injured and separated from their families. Organizations there are working hard to take care of the animals and return them to their owners.

Christy Counts, the founder of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, estimates around 350 to 400 animals have been brought into shelters around Oklahoma since the tornado.

They've seen everything from hamsters to horses, she says. "Livestock has been affected," says Counts. "There have been birds. It's been everything."

Some of the animals suffered injuries, but some were just lost in the storm. The shelters in the area have established a home base for posting lost animals at,

"We're all supposed to be uploading our pictures to that website and then it shows where the animals are," says Counts.

In the past few days, they've seen a number of reunions. Counts says for many owners who may have lost their home and valuables, finding their pets is a bright spot.

"Some of the stories are just so gut wrenching and exciting because these people have lost everything and yet they're able to locate their beloved pet and it's just wonderful to see," says Counts. "It makes us cry every time."

One of her favorite stories was of a German Shepard that was found carrying a T-shirt and a cape.

"It was carrying a Thunder shirt in its mouth and a leather cape in its mouth when it was cruising around in the rubble and the emergency responders brought it to us with its little shirt and cape in its mouth and we kept it with her."

The dog was reunited with its owner and they learned that the dog had been wearing the shirt for the storm and apparently after it came off the dog had been carrying it around while looking for its owner.

Counts says they're working hard to care for the animals and get them back home. She says people have been very generous in donating supplies, but that the shelters will likely need additional financial resources to keep up care for the animals. There is a link to donate at

Listen to It's Raining Cats and Dogs on KIRO Radio every Sunday at 1 p.m, or listen anytime ON DEMAND at

About the Author

Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.


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