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Elkhart Humane Society dealing with effects of February floods

ELKHART, Ind. - Homeowners across Michiana aren't the only ones fighting to recover from February's flooding.

The Elkhart county humane society is also feeling the strain of taking in more than 400 animals in, in that month alone.

A lot of those animals were left abandoned in the flood waters, looking for a new home.

Humane society executive director Anne Reel has been helping animals in Elkhart County for nearly ten years.

 "the humane society is constantly seeing animals coming in, animals coming in for lots of different reasons,” Reel said.

She's seen a lot throughout that time.

"It's hard to totally explain the scope of things for the job until you've actually sat in this lobby and watched all of the different kinds of animals that come in, and hear the reasons they're coming in,” Reel said.

But never quite so many animals coming in due to a natural disaster - as she saw during February's floods.

"Most of those were from Elkhart city,” she said.

The humane society opened its doors to 410 animals that month - 50 of those from an animal hoarding case - five because of a house fire - and at least 70 due to the flooding.

"It puts a different challenge on the humane society when we take that kind of step [in petsafe]. But basically, we were fortunate that this was toward the beginning, the middle of the month, and so we still had that capacity to allow that many animals to have that ten-day period of coverage, until owners could make other arrangements,” Reel said.

Not all of those animals have been lucky enough to go home with their owners once they get back on their feet - like a potbelly pig found wandering alone on a flooded street.

No matter how long they stay, each and every animal that comes in must be fed, undergo a welfare check and get up-to-date vaccinations.

"It mounts very quickly in terms of the cost factors. That's why we're so pleased when we have folks who are helping to donate, so that we can buy the things that we need, when we need, as we need," Reel said.

Reel say those donations - have played a crucial role in keeping the shelter afloat during february's flooding.

"Oh goodness. If we did not get donations, we would be in a sore, sore condition.” She said.

Reel says the Humane Society is helping to provide our furry friends care and comfort in their greatest time of need.

“We're very proud of the work that we do. We're very proud of the shelter that we have and our capacity to better serve these animals. And we're reliant on the support of the community and donations to help us do the phenomenal job that's been given to us,” Reel said.

You have a chance to help those animals with your donations.

The Humane Society is holding its “Best of Show event Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lerner Crystal ballroom.

The event is sold out but you can donate to the society here.

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