LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- With many people left without a place to live after a devastating tornado in central Arkansas, animal rescuers say there are also over a hundred pets looking for a way back home.
Using the power of social media, groups and volunteers are coming together to help displaced pets after a tornado touched down in Arkansas on March 31.
Southern Hearts Rescue volunteer Brenda Guillet said they started the Facebook group Tornado 3/31 Central Arkansas Lost and Found Pets the day the tornado hit. Soon after they had a high demand of people joining because of displaced animals.
“We have a Facebook group page that’s trending showing somewhere around 150 that have been reunited,” Guillet said.
Guillet said even though many animals have been reunited, hundreds haven’t. Of the ones still displaced, Sarah Richardson with the Community Cats of Central Arkansas includes some of the cats at their organization.
“We have taken around 40 over the last week,” Richardson said.
Richardson said it’s been difficult to find the owners of the pets that were displaced because of the tornado.
“I don’t know if it’s because people aren’t paying attention,” Richardson said. “Then we have a couple of pets that were housing for people who are trying to rebuild their homes.”
Richardson said some of their cats that are displaced come in with injuries.
“It’s severe dehydration or just laceration to the head or the back,” Richardson said.
She also said one cat had severe injuries to its face.
“He is the one that everyone has seen that has the eye debris and the jaw out of place. He had emergency surgery last night on the eye,” Richardson said.
Although the Little Rock Animal Village is at capacity, manager Tracy Roark said they’re still accepting pets lost because of the storm.
“We had about eight, seven of them dogs, one of them a cat but we were doing tracking in the area,” Roark said.
Both Roark and Richardson are also using the Tornado 3/31 Central Arkansas Lost and Found Pets page in the hopes of finding the owners of the displaced pets they have in their possession.
“We’re going to do what’s right and caring for these animals is what we have been asked to do,” Roark said.
Aside from asking pet owners to look at their social media page, Guillet also says they should physically go to the shelters because their pets may not look the same as when they last saw them.