Animal Shelter Evacuated

The evacuation of the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter began around 1:30pm Wednesday (June 11th). Staff had been boated in for days previously by the CR Fire Department to care for the animals. Although the shelter had been surrounded by water in past river risings, when it was determined that this time it was going to be different the evacuation was initiated. Volunteers were alerted and streamed down the only road left to access the area laden with carriers. At this time, cats were brought by boat to a raised piece of road where trucks waited to take them the rest of the way through a channel of water crossing the road. From there they were put in a stock trailer and transported to KCC who had offered their beef cattle barn as a make-shift shelter. Next came the small dogs then with 27 big dogs left to bring out, the fire department made the decision that the water crossing the road was too deep for animal control trucks to continue to drive through safely. Hearts sank with the fear that animals would be left behind, but with the job left unfinished, and time working against them, CRFD and CRAS staff new it was time to get creative. The rest of the dogs were boated out through a neighboring farm field that was now part of the river. It was slow going even with 3 boats operating non-stop as the larger dogs had to be brought out virtually one by one so as not to cause an incident between two animals that might swamp the boat. If anyone wants to question why Cedar Rapids needs a new animal shelter, forget about the inadequate space & ventilation, forget that it's a run-down 40-year-old wastewater treatment plant, forget that it's not even in the city of Cedar Rapids, just look at this event and remember the people in boats risking their lives to get the community's animals out of a dangerous area that floods almost yearly.

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cissy says ... on Sunday, Jun 28 at 6:08 PM


Cissy Greenburg says ... on Thursday, Jun 19 at 9:12 AM

I would love to help rescue the animals.I have 3 danes and 1 pynereese so, I have experience with big dogs. I live in Memphis. How many miles is it there?

Sascha Hunt says ... on Wednesday, Jun 18 at 7:24 AM

I would be willing to take any birds, parrots for any one that has been effected by the flood. I have taken care of birds and parrots for years and they would be in good hands, get ahold of my at

Shari says ... on Monday, Jun 16 at 11:37 PM

As of yet, there is not a website of rescued or missing pets. Crews are making 100 animal rescues per day. These animals are going to the Animal Health Services building at Kirkwood. I'd check there.

mike says ... on Saturday, Jun 14 at 7:22 PM

is there a web site set up that has photos of rescued pets from the floods. I called to have someone check or get my cat. I have not heard anything back from them.

Carole Gauger says ... on Saturday, Jun 14 at 6:42 PM

Many of our Shelter animals are being adopted from the "new" facilities at Kirkwood! Also experienced rescue groups from Missouri and Mich. are here to help. Sign in at the Animal Health Bldg (76th Ave), to volunteer or donate. THANK YOU!!

Jan Vlasak says ... on Saturday, Jun 14 at 12:55 PM

As a shelter volunteer who took part in the evacuation, I cannot say enough good about the personnel from the Fire Dapartment, the Shelter Staff and the folks at Kirkwood College. Very professional under stressful circumstances. THANK YOU!!!

Christine Peterson says ... on Friday, Jun 13 at 11:54 AM

Is there a number we can call if we can temporarily house some of these animals?

Rose Anne Steninger says ... on Friday, Jun 13 at 10:02 AM

I absolutely would support a new Animal Shelter and would be willing to help in any way that I can to see this implemented.

Lin says ... on Friday, Jun 13 at 8:08 AM

I'm glad the animals were evacuated and not left to drown which happens many times. I heard that in Cedar Falls people were told they couldn't take pets..after Katrina a Federal law was passed protecting pets..are people aware of this?

CR citizen says ... on Friday, Jun 13 at 7:59 AM

God bless them all. I am so thankful that CR has taken the care of pets into their evacuation plans. So many pets were left behind in New Orleans and died a horrible death. They are God's creatures too.

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