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Following the tragic tornados that swept Joplin, Mo., people were not the only ones left with out a home.  The deadly tornados left only wreckage and heartbreak following its path through southwestern Mo. in late May.  When the numbers came out they were frightening, 153 killed, 50,000 left homeless, and adding further sadness, 900 cats and dogs now call the Joplin Humane Society home after losing their families in the wreckage.

Some pets abandoned by their owner who simply had to fend for themselves to find their own shelter, others stranded after owners went missing. Nevertheless, as a month has passed, the Joplin Humane Society now must find a way for these pets to find new owners, a new family to take these pets into their home. The weekend of June 25-26 the Joplin Humane Society will host an “adopt-a-thon” in hopes of finding a home for 600 pets.  The number 600 comes from the above normal inventory the Humane Society has taken in since the twisters.  On average they will shelter 300 pets.

“If all of them aren’t adopted, we’ll start looking to rescue organizations and ways to get some of them to larger cities where they have a better chance at adoption,” said executive director Karen Aquino.

She also wanted to assure pet lovers that none of the pets will be euthanized and they are doing everything they can to find the owners before the “adopt-a-thon” to try and return the pets to their loved family.

“We feel we’ve exhausted every avenue to get the word out,” Aquino said. “We’ve placed 250 yard signs. We have posters at food and donation distribution points, public service announcements on radio and TV, ads in the newspaper — everything we could think of to let people know their pets might be here if they’re missing.”

The saddening news spread nationwide has attracted hundreds of volunteers coast to coast to help out, including veterinarians providing vet care and volunteering at the shelter tending to those pets wounded in the tragedy.

While the 900 count may be astounding in itself, some pet owners have checked with the Joplin Humane Society and are still in search of their missing beloved cuddle buddy.  No one can truly estimate just how many pets went missing or died following the tragic tornados just one month ago.

For more information about the “adopt-a-thon” please call, (417) 623-3642 or visit

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