Oklahomans finding shelter for small and large animals during natural disasters

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A lot of folks are displaced following Wednesday’s storms, but we don’t want to forget about animals in need too.

There are groups of people and organizations in the metro working fast to house lost and injured animals.

Temporary shelters are already gearing up for more possible severe weather.

It has been hectic for Chrissi Sappington since the vicious storms.

The storm flooded her barn in Newcastle, leaving her horses, Scotch and Shocker, in danger.

“By the time we got them out, they were chest-deep in water and the stuff from the barn was floating everywhere,” said Sappington.

While she’s left cleaning up the mess, her precious stallions are seeking shelter at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City.

“Now they’re dry and living it up,” said Kevin Trimmell.

Kevin Trimmell is the facility manager here, but also works with the Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders, providing shelter, rescuers and attention for large animals during natural disasters.

“This year, we’re trying to get better prepared with more guidelines, a better system down, bigger volunteer list,” said Trimmell.

As far as the smaller animals, like dogs and cats, the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division is teaming up with the Red Cross to provide temporary shelters for displaced residents and their pets.

“I was sleeping and my ears popped, and I ran to the window and it was right there and I woke up my husband screaming,” said Tracie Kiser.

“We’ve set up an area out here where their animals can be. We’re providing staff 24 hours a day to help take care of animals while they’re here,” said Jon Gary, with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division.

Now, storm victims are anticipating what’s next from Mother Nature.

“Just trying to ride it out right now,” said Sappington.

The Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division’s temporary shelter with the Red Cross is set up at Santa María Virgen Episcopal Church, located at 5400 S. Western.

All stray animals found in Oklahoma City need to go to the animal shelter, located at 2811 S. E. 29th St.

Anyone missing an animal can visit the shelter and see pictures of animals in the building by visiting the shelter’s website.

If you find an injured animal, or have another animal emergency in the community, call dispatch at (405) 297-2255 for help.

To learn more about Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders, call (405) 951-3591 or email olafrteam@gmail.com or visit their social media page.

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