Floodwaters cause concern for Humane Society

Published 3:27 pm Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Humane Society of Freeborn County was on a temporary alert today as flood waters from the Albert Lea Lake spilled onto James Avenue and began encroaching on the facility’s parking lot.

Humane Society Assistant Shelter Director Ryan Arbuckle said he became concerned and contacted law enforcement, which prompted an emergency management meeting to discuss if the waters were an immediate threat to the facility.

While there were initial talks of sandbagging around the building as a precaution, Arbuckle said he was told by city officials following the meeting that the area would have to have about 6 inches or more of rain for the water to become a serious threat. He is, however, still concerned about the possibility of water seeping up through the floor drains.

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He noted that the sanitation of the shelter would be compromised if that happened and the animals would have to be evacuated.

“Evacuating the shelter is like moving a hospital, and we don’t want to do it if we don’t have to,” he said.

If it does become necessary, 61 cats and 11 dogs would need to be crated up and carried up the hill behind the shelter to Frank Hill Drive. After being loaded into vehicles, the animals would then be sent to alternate housing facilities.

Arbuckle said he will continue to closely monitor the situation until the waters recede.

As a result of the flooding, the Humane Society of Freeborn County is closed to the public until further notice.

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