CAWL volunteers Holly Winters, Brandy Feliciano and Lisa Petri joined Liz Peach and Shelby Davis in Joplin, MO last week. The five along with Spay Kansas City volunteers worked with ASPCA to spay and neuter 300 dogs and cats to prepare them for the upcoming adoption event at the Joplin Humane Society on June 25th and 26th.
Over 500 animals will be available for adoption for free to the public due to the generous help of ASPCA and PetSmart Charities, Inc. Many rescues, including CAWL, are waiting to help after the event with animals that are not adopted. Dogs and cats picked up in or around the area of destruction are being held for an entire month to ensure the owners have plenty of time to reclaim their pets. “Every day that I was there, I saw at least one reunion of an owner and a pet.” said Petri. “We would all stop and clap as a dog jumped all over a person that they obviously recognized. It was a bright spot in my day.”
The animals that are being released to rescues now are from areas far from the tornado destruction. Many rescues are taking these animals to make a space for the dogs and cats left homeless. The number of animals there, especially cats and kittens is overwhelming. There are over 100 kittens that are under 2 lbs, the minimum requirement for spay/neuter. Per Missouri state law, all of animals will be spayed or neutered before adoption. Joplin Humane Society Veterinarians and staff are doing an amazing job keeping up with the sheer volume.
If they could get out of the clinic before dark, the volunteers would tour the devastated area. “The magnitude of it is unbelievable. Houses that are completely demolished and cars overturned, metal bumpers wrapped around trees. It seems to go on for miles. Even if you saw it on TV, it is hard to imagine unless you are there” said Winters. “Many homes were completely gone. Nothing but rubble is left on the land.” Winters is fostering some orphan kittens from Joplin that will be available for adoption through CAWL sometime around the end of July. All the kittens she is fostering are grey tabbies.
Almost 100 animals in the shelter were already neutered but volunteers still had to test them for heartworm disease or feline viruses. 180 dogs and 120 cats were neutered and tested over 5 days. CAWL volunteers also brought back three dogs and nine cats for adoption in the Denver area. Check our website for Amy, Oliver and others soon. These animals will make great additions to any home. If you are interested in fostering a Joplin animal, please call 720-515-CAWL.