Chicago's spring flood hits several animal rescues

Heavy rains and flooding have had a devastating effect on much of the Chicago-area today. The animal rescue community was not spared from Chicago's spring floods. Feral Fixers in DuPage County and Alive Rescue in Chicago were both were hit by basement flooding that will have a huge impact on both organizations. Bolingbrook's Animal Control also had to be evacuated.

Feral Fixers

Chicago's spring flood overwhelmed the basement housing cats for Feral Fixers.

Chicago's spring flood overwhelmed the basement housing cats for Feral Fixers.

The day started very early for the president of Feral Fixers – a DuPage County Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Group. She had 14 cats – 13 friendlies and one feral in a trap – housed in her basement when water from Chicago’s spring flood started to accumulate. As of 6 a.m., there was about six-inches and Tammy MacAuley and her boyfriend quickly moved the cats to safety.

“I take care of the ill and the wanting to be tame cats in my basement,” says MacAuley. “Through the help of my incredibly caring and patient boyfriend I was able to get all of the cats into carriers and up into our dining room. When someone came to get the cats from me, he walked though the above the knee water seven times, carrying cats to her.”

They posted a call for help on Facebook at 6 this morning and more than half of the cats had emergency foster care by afternoon.  The basement was totally flooded before water receded. Now, they’ll need to assess the damage, which includes a new furnace, hot water heater, washer and dryer.

All cats were rescued before the basement totally flooded.

All cats were rescued before the basement totally flooded.

Since many of the group’s supplies were housed in the basement, much of that was lost as well. St. Sophia’s Forgotten Felines in Addison and Annie’s Little Angels in Plainfield are pitching in with supply drives to help. That includes kitty litter, canned food, paper plates and bowls, blankets and towels.  Contact Annie’s Little Angels through their Facebook page or via email at Or drop off supplies with St Sophia’s at the Petco in Elmhurst.

Alive Rescue

The next few weeks were going to be big weeks for Alive Rescue. They recently opened their much-anticipated new shelter in Roscoe Village – The Little Barn. Their annual Pet Bowl – a big fundraiser for the group – was slated for the 27th with the grand opening the first weekend in May.

Sewage back up triggered from Chicago's spring flood flooded the basement at Alive Rescue.

Sewage back up triggered by Chicago's spring flood swamped the basement at Alive Rescue.

When the Chicago's spring floods hit, the group was met with several feet of sewer water in the basement this morning. The sewer back up has receded a lot since then, but the damage has been done and the clean up process is underway. Volunteers are at the shelter this evening to bleach the basement and throw away all damaged items.

The basement holds extra dog crates, small animal cages, baby gates and extra dog food. There also was soda, water, wine, beer, non-perishable food for events like the upcoming Pet Bowl and Grand Opening. There were also donated event auction items for the Pet Bowl event on April 27th, goody bag items, tables, chairs and other general supplies. Much of this was hit by sewage overflow due to the Chicago-area floods.

“The main items of concern are the furnace and water heater,” says Erica Schisler, director of foster care for the organization. “The donated auction items for our Pet Bowl event and the donated food and beverages for the Pet Bowl and Grand Opening. The money we raise from the Pet Bowl event is largely due to the auction we have. Now, most of those auction items are gone. The event is only a week away and it is likely that we will not be able to find companies to donate items last minute for the auction.”

Prior to the building out of the Little Barn, Alive Rescue was a foster-based organization. They took in mainly dogs but were expanding to cats and rabbits in the new location. Two cats that had been housed at The Little Barn are now in foster care and two of the five dogs have moved to boarding. The rescue has set up a fundraising page to cover the damage.

Bolingbrook Animal Control

In Bolingbrook, pets at animal control had to be evacuated via boat.

In Bolingbrook, pets at animal control had to be evacuated via boat.

In Bolingbrook, public works employees used boats to evacuate cats and dogs trapped in the Bolingbrook's Animal Control building.

The animal control building sits between Greene Road and Concord Lane on Royce Road and that area was shut off due to flooding. About two feet of water was in the building and animals were moved before the water got that high. Animals were transported to a veterinarian and Humane Haven and animal control were placing animals in foster homes.

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