Volunteers, donations aid animals after storm

05/11/2007 1:01 AM

01/24/2008 5:15 PM

Wichitan Jan Peters said she saw a need for animal assistance immediately when she responded to the Greensburg tornado on Sunday.

"I watched a dog climb up on top of what used to be his house... and I knew," she said.

Since then, she's been busy helping reunite families with their animals and raising money and supplies to care for them.

Peters said the Pratt County Humane Society, which has been a home to displaced and injured animals, still needs $3,000 for portable storage and dog runs.

She has helped drop-in efforts in Greensburg and in Pratt, where donations for the animals have been coming in from all over the state. The group of volunteers has also collected hay and feed for cattle and other livestock.

The Kansas Humane Society, based in Wichita, sent a truckload of supplies to Greensburg on Thursday morning.

"I am overwhelmed at the response and the support that came out of Wichita and the surrounding areas," Peters said.

A 45-foot trailer from Wichita carrying food, water and other supplies was so full there wasn't room for even an extra bottle of water, Peters said. "I just started crying, I couldn't help it."

The Kansas Humane Society took donations Tuesday and Wednesday, said Jennifer Campbell, Kansas Humane Society director of communications.

"All the donors that were coming to us were happy we were providing a place to take donations," she said. "They were afraid the animals would be forgotten."

Of the 225 animals that volunteers have located in Greensburg as of Thursday, about 20 dogs and more than 50 cats are still to be reunited with their families, said Mike Hill, a volunteer at the Pratt County Humane Society.

Peters said pets are found every day in Greensburg.

On Thursday, the National Guard found one that had been trapped in the rubble for six days.

Guardsmen with the Iola-based 891st Field Support Group were using a skid steer loader to move rubble near the Big Well when a black Labrador retriever popped out.

The dog -- clearly scared and injured -- ran as soon as it was free. The guardsmen, an insurance adjuster and two officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks chased the dog east through town but couldn't catch it.

Reach Amanda O'Toole at 316-268-6357 or aotoole@wichitaeagle.com.

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