PHOTO GALLERY: Joplin Humane Society overflowing with animals after tornado

Friday, June 17, 2011 | 11:03 a.m. CDT; updated 2:13 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Metta Butler, a volunteer veterinarian from Fayetteville, Ark., holds a sick dog at a shelter in Joplin. More than three weeks after an EF5 tornado ripped through Joplin, nearly 900 dogs and cats remain sheltered at the Humane Society, most of them unlikely to ever be reunited with their owners.

JOPLIN —Since the May 22 tornado, the Humane Society has found itself overflowing with animals, with about 900 now calling the shelter home — three times its usual inventory. One way or another, the pets became separated from their owners in the chaotic aftermath of the twister that tore through this town, killing 153 people. In some cases, the owners have simply given up their pets.

But the Joplin Humane Society is determined to find a home for every cat and dog. 


Rescued dogs sit in their kennels Tuesday at a shelter in Joplin. Volunteers for the Humane Society are using posters, newspaper, television and radio ads as a way to alert people who might have lost their pets in the May 22 tornado.
Volunteer Erica Iwinski from Walnut Creek, Calif., gets a lick from a rescued dog at a shelter in Joplin on Tuesday.
The Humane Society plans an "adopt-a-thon" event June 25-26 to help find homes for many of the abandoned animals.
Jennifer Peabody, a volunteer from Walnut Creek, Calif., pets rescued kittens at the Humane Society shelter in Joplin.
Volunteer Danielle Hanisee from New Orleans walks a dog past kennels at a shelter in Joplin on Tuesday.
Kittens look out of their cage at a shelter in Joplin. Most of the animals remaining at the shelter are unlikely to ever be reunited with their owners despite efforts to alert residents about the number of pets at the shelter.

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