After the Illinois tornadoes: Relief efforts include reuniting pets with families

After the Illinois tornadoes: Relief efforts include reuniting pets with families
Governor Pat Quinn has declared seven counties disaster areas after the Illinois Tornadoes that hit Sunday. Photo courtesy of Washington IL Tornado Recovery page.

The clean up and recovery efforts are underway after the Illinois Tornadoes swept through several parts of the state yesterday, killing six and leaving many people homeless. Along with the clean up efforts, some groups have been set up to use the power of social media to help reunite lost and found pets with their families. The unseasonable storm that spawned numerous tornadoes across the Midwest took many people by surprise and when you look at the devastation, it's a blessing that so many people made it out alive.

This dog was rescued from an area devastated by the Illinois Tornadoes yesterday. Photo courtesy of Steve Smedley of The Pantagraph.

This dog was rescued from an area devastated by the Illinois Tornadoes yesterday. Photo courtesy of Steve Smedley of The Pantagraph.

During my broadcasting days, I worked in the Peoria market for over four years and knew many of the places well that have just been leveled. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone (and I'm happy to hear so many of my friends are doing OK). No matter how many tornado drills you do in Central Illinois, nothing really prepares you for storms like this.

Below is a rundown of some of the pages that have been set up to help keep people up to date as to what is happening.  Keep in mind that when the communities have a better grasp on the full extent of the damage and what is needed, they will have updated information on how people can help.

General information

There have been several Facebook pages set up to help provide updated information as to what is going on and what is needed in the communities effected by the Illinois Tornadoes. These pages are providing updated information about where donations may be dropped, what is needed and updates from officials about what is going on in these communities.

Pet Recover Efforts

Many families that have lost their homes or had their home damaged are also working on finding their missing pets. There are others that have pulled pets from the rubble or found them wandering in the community that want to connect pets back with their families. Social media has been vital in connecting lost and found pets with their families.

Iggy is a senior cat missing from Washington.

Iggy is a senior cat missing from Washington.

The National Disaster Animal Response and Recovery Teams Volunteer Matters or N.D.A.R.R.T. has been very successful in reuniting pets with their families. They've set up a page to help people with their efforts in finding their pets in Washington. If you are submitting a lost or found pet, please include photos if available, descriptions, gender, spayed/neutered, any collars they may have been wearing, any distinguishing characteristics, city and major cross streets last seen (or where they lived) and Contact information. You may post to the site below or submit directly.

All of the animals that were at Georgetown Commons Apartments have been recovered and taken to Tazewell County Animal Control at 309-925-3370. Animals are also being held at Washington Veterinary Medical Clinic at 309-745-9331 and Pekin Animal Hospital at (309) 347-6674.

If you would like to help volunteer at the shelters around Washington/Pekin/Peoria, send a message to the Washington Lost Pets site - start with volunteer and send your name and phone number. They will reach out when they are ready. Also, along with posting on those sites, also post on these sites as well to help more people see lost and found pets.

Lola is back with her family thanks to cross posting on the lost pet page.

Lola is back with her family thanks to cross posting on the lost pet page.

Some of the local veterinary clinics have taken in animal found after the storm and area rescues are also helping. The Banfield Hospital in the East Peoria PetSmart is seeing injured animals as well.

I've talked briefly to the folks running the page for NDARRT and I will have a more detailed post on how to help the animals, how to approach animals, etc when they have a better idea of details. I will also have details on where you can donate in the Chicago area as rescues get their plans organized.

Two other stories of interest -

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    Raining Cats and Dogs

    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats & Dogs.

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