Getting back on their paws after Joplin tragedy

What do you do when you have seconds to take cover when a tornado is blowing by?

Many people grab their kids and pets and head to the basement. But pets still get lost in the storm.

Joplin's humane society took in more than one thousand pets and still counting after the deadly tornado.

KHQA's Lindsey Boetsch found out what the Humane Society is doing two months after the storm.

"After the tornado, they came in on stretchers, on doors, people found them, emergency responders found them looking for humans, citizens brought them in, animal control brought them in. Some came in unharmed and unscathed, and some came in with devastating injuries," said Joplin Humane Society Executive Director Karen Aquino.

The Joplin Humane Society had 12 vets working around the clock. They had to do some limb amputations but most of the work came from removing the projectiles embedded into the animals.

"It took about 150 people everyday, on the ground here to take care of all of the animals, the donations, and the food and the cleaning. It was a tremendous response and people came from all over the country," said Aquino.

Even here in the Tri-States. Quincy Humane Society Executive Director Sally Westerhoff and other Quincy volunteers made the trip to Joplin after the tornado. They were asked only to bring their helping hands and skills.

"I think in view, when people have lost everything they own, to find their pet just meant the world to them," said Quincy Humane Society Executive Director Sally Westerhoff.

Immediately after the tornado emergency crews brought in more than 1,200 animals to the Joplin Humane Society. More than 500 of those have already been reunited with their families and hundreds more were adopted out. But there are still hundreds more than need your help.

"We're going to be recovering financially for quite some time. A third of our town is gone, a third of our donor base, and a third of our potential homes for adoptions. So, we have a lot of medical expenses for the animals that we still have to pay," said Aquino.

Westerhoff also said she asked if she needed to bring anything before she went. She was told just to bring her self and her skills.

There were truck loads of supplies like dog food, cat food, and toys that were donated.

PetSmart Charities also sent its relief wagon to help out with anything else the Humane Society needed.