A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Animals in the Tornadoes

People rescuing pets; pets rescuing people

TV crews happened to be on the scene, Tuesday afternoon, when a dramatic cat rescue took place in the tornado-ravaged town of Joplin, Missouri.

A search team with Midwest Disaster Response found the orange kitty trapped under a mattress in the back corner of a bedroom. She was taken the Joplin Humane Society shelter to be treated and cared for, and hopefully soon to be returned to her family. Rescuers on the scene didn’t know where her family might be staying.

A video of the rescue is here.

Animal rescue is being coordinated by the Humane Society of Missouri (HSM), which has deployed at 15-member Disaster Response Team to Joplin, the town that was ravaged over last weekend.

The HSM has also opened a temporary shelter on the campus of Missouri Southern State University, and people who are staying at the shelter at the college can keep their pets at this animal shelter. A separate shelter has been set up for pets of people not staying at the college. The ASPCA is also assisting in the rescue and sheltering.

Meanwhile, the local Joplin Humane Society is asking people to adopt pets who were there before the tornado struck so they can free up space for the many lost animals who are now coming in. Animals already sheltered there are being transferred to another shelter to open up space to accommodate more rescued animals.

At the beginning of May, when floods struck other parts of Missouri, the HSM rescued hundreds of animals, including 24 adult and baby domestic rabbits who were found at the top of a threatened levee, abandoned inside a cotton gin trailer.

Kathleen Lelsey and ChicoDog. Photo by Mark Schiefelbein.

Meanwhile, search-and-rescue dogs have been arriving from around the country to help search for anyone still alive in the wreckage.

Among them was Kathleen Kelsey, a canine rescue specialist, who has been guiding her live-find dog ChicoDog through the wreckage of a public housing complex in Joplin.

What you can do: Donations for the animals are most welcome at the Joplin Humane Societyand the Humane Society of Missouri.