Kirkwood Animal Shelter Prepares to Close

By Mark Geary, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Kirkwood Community College became an animal shelter for about one-thousand pets after water damage forced the city's original shelter to close.

As of this weekend, less than two-hundred animals are left on the college campus.

Sunday was the last day for owners to pick up their dogs and cats before the shelter closes and sends the remaining pets to nearby states and communities.

Corey Moore lost almost everything in the flood. He's been living in a hotel that doesn't allow pets for the past month. Now, he finally has a new place to live and can bring his dogs home.

"You come home from work...sometimes they'd be a burden. Then, when you don't have them around, that's when you realize what you've been missing," Moore said.

A team of volunteers and animal control staff have spent more than 40-thousand hours keeping this makeshift animal shelter alive since mid-June.

"These are kind, helpless creatures that are man's best friend. So, it was really great to be able to come out help them, give them love and spend some time with them," volunteer Jenny Johnson said.

Now, the college needs its buildings back and the animals need to find more stable homes. Sunday was the last day for people to claim their pets before the animals went up for adoption.

"It's kind of mixed emotion, to be honest with you, because we don't have a place to go at this point," Cedar Rapids Police Sergeant Kent Choate said.

A group of national organizations will help move the dogs and cats to surrounding areas and states as staff search for a more permanent place to put the animal shelter.

Only 10 dogs and 55 cats weren't claimed by their owners. The other hundred or so animals were simply labeled as strays.

Some people don't want to give up their pets, but still don't have a home for them, either.

That's why the Cedar Valley Humane Society has setup a temporary foster program where volunteers agree to house pets locally until the animals can move back in with their owners.

Cedar Valley Humane Society Contact Information: or (319) 210-8009. The phone number has been set up to accept voicemails only, so calls will be returned by the CVHS.
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