Search Continues to Find Homes for Displaced Pets

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By Sam Smith

SALINE CO. -- Nearly a month after Harrisburg was hit by a tornado, people are still trying to find homes for displaced pets. A group has reconnected nearly 20 pets with their owners so far and is planning to reunite even more.

The Emergency Pet Rescue Coalition is working with local officials to spread the word about missing pets. It's a plan to combine all the reports of lost and found animals into a poster and place copies along damaged neighborhoods.

Rita Diefembach picked up two dogs near The Mills Cafe in Carrier Mills days after the storm. No one knows for sure where the dogs came from, but to Diefembach, it's clear they belong to someone.

"They were really sweet dogs, very clean. You could tell they had a home," says Diefembach.

She says the two dogs likely walked down a bike trail from Harrisburg to Carrier Mills, and estimates the dogs are nine months old and part pitbull and pointer. Diefembach has three dogs and cats at home and wasn't able to keep the two lost dogs for long, but was able to find a foster home for them.

The dogs are two of many pets found by the Saline County Emergency Pet Rescue Coalition. The coalition is a joint effort between various animal shelters.

"The whole idea is to try and get the word out that some people are still missing pets, and try and help people see that an animal that they might be seeing regularly might match the description of a pet that's missing," says Coalition member Lisa Braddock.

Braddock says it's a rewarding feeling to return a pet to it's home, and it's something they'll continue doing as long as pets are missing.

"Being able to get that pet back allows them to hold on to something precious to them that didn't get taken away," says Braddock.
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