EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — Many local shelters are offering up their space and help in taking in animals.
Over last several days, many East Palestine evacuees say they left their pets when they were told to leave their homes. Many originally thought they’d be able to return to them within a day or two. But as the days stretch on, these pet owners haven’t been able to get home to care for their animals and many don’t know what to do.
Animal shelters say they’ve been inundated with calls, so they’re jumping in to help, offering up their space, resources and anything else needed.
Donald Elzer and his wife left behind about 10 cats at their home when they had to evacuate.
“We’re concerned with them, not just from a chemical standpoint but from a food standpoint,” he says.
The Columbiana County Humane Society says it’s already close to capacity on dogs, but it will do what it takes to make things work.
Erica Rice with the shelter says
“Right now, we have approximately 27 dogs,” says Erica Rice with Columbiana County Humane Society. “Our own adoptable dogs were transferred to animal welfare league of Trumbull County yesterday.”
Animal Charity of Ohio is also stepping up and is even willing to use a warehouse it just purchased on Southern Boulevard in Boardman.
“Should we need a facility that would just be used temporarily for a shelter-in-place situation, we would likely be using that — whether it be for our personal animals that are Animal Charity animals or community animals,” says Jane MacMurchy with Animal Charity.
MacMurchy says the charity is gearing up its plans, stockpiling things like crates and kennels for cats and dogs, which they can use if they need to.
Diane Less with Angels for Animals says she was in East Palestine on Monday with a vanload of carriers and crates for those in need.
“Some people are able to take the animals to a relative’s house or something, but they can’t just be loose in the house,” Less says. “We have caging and crating available — if people need to borrow something, we’ve got that here too.”
Angels for Animals has about 10 cats from East Palestine residents currently, and it says it can take in a couple dozen dogs and five to six dozen dogs.
The shelters encourage you to give them a call so they can do their best to accommodate you.
Rice wants to remind everyone that it’s a small, rural community and everyone needs help. Even offers to walk dogs, sit with them or give them one-on-one attention is encouraged.