Kentucky shelter working to locate pet owners post-tornado

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DAWSON SPRINGS, Kentucky (Associated Press) — An animal shelter in Kentucky has been doing its part to help recover from last month’s hurricanes by reuniting pets lost in the storm with their owners.

The Messenger reported that the Hopkins County Animal Shelter has taken in about 90 dogs and about 120 cats from the hardest-hit Dawson Springs community since December 11.. There are only 36 dogs left to claim and about 50 cats remain, the shelter’s executive director, Dustin Potenzas, told the newspaper on Tuesday.

All pets in Dawson Springs will be kept for 35 days before being offered for adoption. If the owner cannot shelter his pet because his home has been damaged or lost, the shelter can sign a 15-day contract to board the pet there.

“As long as the owner is in touch with us and renews the contract for 15 days, we will keep these animals for as long as we need to,” Potenza said.

The shelter is still taking animals from Dawson Springs more than two weeks after the hurricanes. Most of the arrivals are cats, and Potenza said it can be hard to tell if they are strays or pets. Only two of the rescued pets had microchips, which allowed the shelter to be reunited with their owners immediately.

For other rescued pets, shelter volunteers display pictures and talk to neighbors in areas where the animals were found to try to identify owners. To get a pet back, the owner must show proof of ownership through veterinary records or photos.

“At a time like this when some have lost everything, we still need to make sure we have that evidence to make sure we get the animals back to their rightful owners,” Potenza said. “This is the only fair way for us to do it.”


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