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Message from "Friends of the Animal Center Foundation"
Updated: Friday, May 31 2013, 03:43 PM CDT
(IOWA CITY) – Five years ago next month rains poured and the Iowa River communities south of the Coralville Reservoir were left in awe of the power of rising water. Since that time, many residents have had time to think, evaluate and respond to the threat of rising waters and develop plans should the overwhelming rains come again. But what happens to those at the mercy of others to transport them to safety? This is the predicament pets find themselves in during disasters of the magnitude Iowa City witnessed in 2008.
As area residents relocated to safe homes and shelters, many arrived at destinations that didn’t allow animals and could not afford to board animals that in some cases had been with them for more than ten years. ““I think that animals can sense when things are wrong. It’s good to have friends and family available to keep your pets calm in an emergency. The animal center cheerfully took in my dad’s cats during the 2008 flood and took great care of them. Thank you to the volunteers who welcomed my father during his visits and cared for his cats. Many people are supportive of the animal center because of their actions during times of need.” said Iowa City resident Dick Irvin.
The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center appreciates the plight of those misplaced by flooding, as they have been operating out of a temporary center since 2008. Forced to leave the old center behind, Iowa City Animal Services continued to take in animals owned by those seeking refuge from the elevating flood waters. These animals were housed at the Johnson County Fair Grounds until space was temporarily made available on South Sand Road at Dave Long Protective Products. The city is currently designing the next Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center which will be located on Napoleon lane just off South Gilbert Street. The site of the new Center neighbors the river and is well above the FEMA flood guidelines for elevation and placement.
The Animal Center is urging people to consider plans for their pets during any disaster scenario and is available to answer questions as part of their humane education program, funded by the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.
“The responsibilities associated with pet ownership must be understood and weighed by any person who is considering adding an animal to their family. Our programs are aimed at informing the public of ways to better care for animals both physically and emotionally. We hope that every pet owner has a plan in place to care for their animals during a time of need,” said Kym Leyden, FACF Executive Director.
The weather conditions of the past week represent a chilling reminder of the dangers lying just around the river’s bend. It is the duty of every citizen to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and this includes pets.
”We always see an increase in the number of animals at our facility during stressful times. We plan for things like this and urge citizens to do the same. Those that care about our animals in the community have done a great job getting the word out and informing people of ways to keep their pets in safe environments regardless of the situation. Citizens should develop a plan for the safety of themselves and their animals. ” said Misha Goodman, Iowa City Animal Services Supervisor.
For more information, the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center suggests going to the ASPCA’s disaster preparedness page for tips on how to plan for your pet’s needs during a disaster. (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness/) Donations are also accepted on behalf of the animals at the Animal Center by the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation at www.facf.org or by calling FACF Executive Director, Kym Leyden, at (319) 541-6390.