As flood water slowly recedes in Craig, KC rescue works to save animals left behind

CRAIG, Mo. – Monday was the first day people living in Craig were able to access the town by road and although very few residents have returned, there was a metro group working to save some of the animals left behind.

Danielle Reno is the CEO of Unleashed Pet Rescue. The Mission-based nonprofit saves about 5,000 animals every year and also responds to disasters.

“It’s disastrous,” Reno said, referring to the flooding. “Words can’t describe it.”

Reno and her group spent the last three days in the Craig area, checking on animals and making sure they have food and water. They’ve mostly come across feral and barn cats.

“I think everybody wanted to take what they could, but [these animals] just don’t have any other help,” she said.

The group uploaded a video to their Facebook showing them in a boat inside a flooded home, making sure a couple cats hiding in the home's rafters were OK.

“I stood on the boat and was in the attic, feeding and watering the cats that were up there,” Reno said, describing the experience.

She didn’t know exactly how many animals they had come across, but she said they all have been OK considering the circumstances.

Reno called the flooding devastation in northwest Missouri “unreal” and said the loss of property is heartbreaking. Seeing it in person, she said, makes her value the small things in life.

“We saw paintings just floating down – you don’t know how sentimental those are to people,” she said. “There were antiques. Who knows if they were family heirlooms that were lost. It’s your entire life, just gone.”

The Missouri River crested in nearby Rulo, Nebraska, last Wednesday at a record 28.14 feet, according to the National Weather Service. As of Monday afternoon, it was still 17 feet above flood stage.

It’s unclear when all the water in Craig will drain so people can get back into their homes and assess the damage for themselves.

There's an information meeting for those needed flooding assistance and resources scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Velma Hours Building in Rock Port, Missouri. You must bring an ID and proof of residency.

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