All animals are safe after flash flooding inundated the Cowley County Humane Society shelter on Saturday morning.
Two to three inches of water covered the floor of the entire building after heavy rains Friday and Saturday, business manager Misty Dougherty said.
A total of 30 dogs were evacuated. Ten of them were taken to a neighboring shelter and the remaining 20 are being fostered by county residents, Dougherty said. The cat cages are high enough off the ground that they did not need to be moved.
When the first staff members arrived for the day at 7:30 a.m., the water was already up to the door. Dougherty said water came up that far during flooding after heavy rains in May, but that time it didn’t enter the building.
“It came up fast,” Dougherty said of the water.
Staff are appreciative of the 80 to 100 volunteers who showed up with sand bags, tarps and other aid after a request for help was posted on the CCHS Facebook account.
As of early afternoon Saturday, staff were cleaning up the shelter, Dougherty said. The best way for people to help with this is through cash donations, she said, as everything needs to be sanitized, and that job needs to be done by people who know the shelter well. Dougherty was unsure of the extent of the damage so far on Saturday.
The shelter will remain closed until further notice, and the phone is also down.
“We appreciate everyone who volunteered,” Dougherty said.
The shelter remained closed Monday as cleaning and preparation continued for reopening. The shelter also received more than $500 in donations over the weekend for assistance, according to the CCHS Facebook page.
The shelter is at 7648 222nd Road, off U.S. Highway 77 between Winfield and Arkansas City.
Western Cowley County was under a flood warning until noon Saturday after heavy rains fell in the area.