Clovis shelter harboring animals displaced by storm

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers

Devastation wrought by Friday’s tornado didn’t just affect human residents. Dozens of pets found themselves on their own when fences blew down and homes were ripped apart.

Animal control officers have been in the hardest hit areas trying to remove animals that are injured or are showing signs of aggression, Capt. Patrick Whitney of the Clovis Police Department said Monday. However, there isn’t room to shelter all the pets now homeless and wandering the streets, he said.

Many of the loose animals are tired, hungry and afraid, he said.

Some, unsettled by recent events, are trying to protect homes and property or may feel vulnerable, Whitney said.

Raymond Pepin, who lives on Louisiana Street, said he was attacked by a dog after the tornado struck when he and his father went into the neighborhood to see if anyone needed help.

“The dog came out of nowhere and attacked,” Pepin said. Showing the stitches in his hand where the dog tore flesh, Pepin said he has seen many animals wandering the neighborhood since.

Approximately a dozen animals were taken in by the Clovis Animal Shelter over the weekend, Whitney said.

City officials have waived fees to reclaim pets and expect to keep them a couple of weeks.

“Unless they are severely injured, we’re not going to put them down,” Whitney said.

An anonymous benefactor donated $1,000 to the shelter in the wake of the tornado, Whitney said.

“What we need more than anything else is for people to go check if any of their animals have been recovered,” Whitney said.

Located on Brady Avenue near the area that sustained most of the storm damage, Whitney said the shelter’s phones are still not working.

He said police dispatchers will handle calls regarding animals through the department’s non-emergency number (769-1921) until phone service is restored at the shelter.