Organization shelters pets for evacuated Elwood residents


The rising Missouri River is forcing the city of Elwood, Kansas to evacuate.

About 1,200 residents in Elwood were urged to leave their homes Thursday.

Those residents did not have to leave their pets behind thanks to the Kansas State Animal Response Team. 

“On Thursday evening everyone evacuated and that’s how we ended up with 120 animals,” said Kelly Benton, State Coordinator for the Kansas State Animal Response Team.

Providing people with pets a safe option during an emergency. According to its website, the non-profit was established in 2007 after the Greensburg tornado revealed the need to address animal response during a disastor or emergency. 

“If they don’t have a place to go with their pets then the translation is I’m not going either they will stay home and ride it out with their pets,” said Benton. “That’s just not safe for them or their pets.”

The response team answered the call to help and set up a shelter in Troy.

“Doniphan County Emergency Management learned about Kansas State Animal Response Team and said you know what we need to do this for our people will you come in will you set up a shelter and help our folks,” said Benton.

Thirteen volunteers from Wichita, El Dorado, and other parts of Kansas working around the clock to provide care. 

“Morning starts somewhere around 6:30 everyone’s fed, and walked and kennels cleaned and fresh water,” said Benton.  

Helping protect pets in the time of need.

“We have got to provide this service and as a volunteer it feels good,” said Benton.

If you would like to volunteer with the Kansas State Animal Response Team, click here.

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