Carmen Lawson, left, and Jerry Johnson of the Taney County Animal Shelter hold a couple of the animals they brought last Friday to The Animal Shelter of Texas County. Following the Branson tornado, the Taney shelter was overwhelmed with dogs and cats brought in by victims and had to make room by moving out some its existing animal inventory.

After an EF2 tornado ripped through Branson last week, many residents of the area were left dealing with the dilemma of what to do with house pets.

While not damaged by the tornado, the Taney County Animal Shelter became ground zero for fallout from that dilemma, receiving some 25 dogs and cats in the days immediately following the disaster. The shelter’s employees and volunteers quickly reached out to other shelters in hopes of moving some of their existing animal inventory in order to make room for the onslaught of four-legged storm refugees.

One of the contacts they made was The Animal Shelter of Texas County. When asked for help, TASTC complied, and four cats and two dogs were transported here last Friday.

“A lot of people were having to leave their pets with us because they were living in motels,” Taney County Animal Shelter representative Carmen Lawson said. “We’ll be keeping some of them for a while until their owners can come and pick them up, but some people don’t know what to do and are just leaving them permanently.”

The connection between the Taney County and Texas County shelters was made possible by TASTC’s Facebook page.

“They sent out a cry for help, and we were there,” TASTC president Rita Romines said.

They sent out a cry for help, and we were there.”

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