Joplin Humane Society reflects after 5 year anniversary of tornado

8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:41:57 PM CDT in News
By: Kaitlin Rounds, KOMU 8 Reporter and Jim Riek, KOMU 8 Anchor
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JOPLIN - On May 22, 2011, 1,308 pets who lost their homes in a matter of seconds when the Joplin tornado touched down found themselves at Joplin Humane Society.

Five years later on the anniversary of the tornado, shelter director Lysa Boston recalled what those days, weeks and months following the disaster were like. 

"We made room for all of them....  because obviously some were injured and required surgery and specialized care," Boston said. "It was an event i'll just say that."

Dealing with lost animals is a challenge in itself, but Boston said dealing with animals following a tragedy is even more difficult.

"They also had to undergo a great amout of stress they were not only seperated from their families, they had been through the same event that people had gone through," Boston said. "People at least have some idea of the tramatic event have some understanding of what happened."

While the shelter took in more than 1,300 pets, there were obviously some sad stories that came from the Joplin Humane Society.

"She couldn't find her sister or her dog during all the chaos she didn't know what happened to them so she came to the shelter looking for her dog, going to the human shelters looking for her sisters for days," Boston recalls one woman's struggle. "She was getting more distressed the last time she came in, I could tell she was really upset... I'm going to get emotional here. She found her sister and her dog. They were together and they didn't make it."

With all the stories of heartbreak there plenty of stories of pets and humans reuniting.

"It took some people weeks to get back and find their dogs, but we were able to help a lot of animals," Boston said. 

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