Finding Mr. Social

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Joy radiates from Bob McKee’s face as he reclaims his cat, “Mr. Social” from the shelter where the pet has been kept safe since severe storms, flooding and tornadoes hit Oklahoma May 18 – June 2. McKee said he was thrilled to find his yellow cat. “He is my wife’s favorite,” he says.

After the McKee home was damaged, there was debris piled high in front of the house. Mr. Social used to go in and out of the house prowling through the piles. One night he didn’t come home. Luckily, he was found and taken to a shelter, where McKee reclaimed him 48 hours later.

Mr. Social is one of the lucky ones – he went home within just a few days after being lost. This happy reunion scene has been repeated at the shelters more than 160 times since May 18.

But other families are still missing their animal friends. Photos of the more than 200 pets that have not been claimed are available on facebook.com/OklahomaAg. Owners are urged to look for their animals online.

Unfortunately, another of Bob McKee’s cats called – “My good boy lap cat” – is still missing. McKee said he is afraid he won’t find him. Meanwhile, the family continues the search. McKee’s daughter faithfully visits the Facebook site each evening, hoping to recognize her dad’s favorite among animals that have been found.

Currently, three shelters are caring for displaced pets rescued from the rubble. The animals arrive scared and dirty. Once there, they are lovingly cleaned, treated for wounds, brushed, fed, hugged and taken for walks by volunteers who come from all over to help, out of love. See Shelters Working to Reunite Animals with their Families.

When owners find their pets, but can’t take them home yet because they are still living in temporary housing, the shelters encourage regular visits that bolster emotional well-being. Some pets may be cared for in foster homes until they can live with their owners again. 

In memory of lost or missing pets, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is holding a memorial service on Saturday, June 15, at 1:30 p.m.at the Orr Family Farm, 14400 South Western St, Oklahoma City. The memorial service is meant to offer comfort and a chance to grieve with fellow pet lovers. For more information, go to oda.state.ok.us/tornado-relief.

For advice on steps you can take now to protect your pet in a future emergency, see Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management’s If You Have Pets or FEMA’s How to plan ahead for your pet.

Last Updated: 
06/20/2013 - 16:36