Kudos to the folks at the North Dakota State University’s North Central Research Extension Center. They were recently honored by state ag and emergency services departments for providing shelter to pets during the 2011 flood in Minot.
The NCREC staff housed more than 500 hogs, cats, rabbits, iguanas, birds, snakes and other pets the center’s garages, machine sheds and seed warehouses.
The first of the animals began arriving in May when the Mouse River began rising and the last ones didn’t leave until September.
The Souris River Valley Animal Shelter (which was also recognized) took over daily chores once NCREC got the emergency shelter up and running. The station’ staff helped with problems like blown electrical fuses and broken water pipes while continuing to manage the experiment’s station’s crop farm.
“When we drove combines in and out of the yard during harvest, we had to be careful of all pets and people around,” says Chad Anderson, NCREC seed production specialist. “It was pretty busy.”
Jess Vollmer, assistant state veterinarian, said during the awards presentation that if it had not been for NCREC, “many of these animals undoubtedly would have been lost or destroyed.”
“This was the largest disaster pet sheltering operation in the state’s history,” noted Greg Wilz, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services deputy director. “We are so appreciative for the hard work and commitment of those who managed and operated the shelter.”