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Pet owners have emotional reunions with animals after being separated by flooding concerns

**Embargo: Tulsa, OK** Larry Patterson was one of the people affected by flood waters and had to leave his dog, Thunder, at the shelter two weeks ago.

TULSA, Okla. — After two weeks at the Tulsa Fairgrounds, the emergency pet shelter is shutting down at the end of the day on Wednesday.

The emergency shelter may be closing its doors, but organizers are working with pet owners to get them back home or figure out a plan if that’s not yet a possibility for families affected by the floods.

Over the next few days, staff and volunteers will move out of the pavilion, relocating the remainder of the animals and donations to the Humane Society of Tulsa.

As of Wednesday morning, the shelter had less than 100 animals waiting to be picked up.

The staff is working with families on a case by case basis, whether it’s helping a family who needs transportation, or food and supplies because they’ve lost everything in flood waters, or providing them with a crate.

Larry Patterson was one of the people affected by flood waters and had to leave his dog, Thunder, at the shelter two weeks ago.

He was finally reunited on Wednesday.

“Tore my arms up jumping up on me, like he always does,” said Patterson.

Those helping people like Patterson through this difficult time have dealt with struggles of their own.

“My three dogs, and three cats and 10 chickens, all had to evacuate as well,” said Ashley Villines, who works with the Humane Society of Tulsa. “We had 5 feet of water at my house. Luckily, we’re in a flood zone but my house sits up off the ground so my house was safe but my husband’s shop was a complete loss.”

Just last week, Tulsa Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of Tulsa and Tulsa SPCA transported nearly 200 adoptable animals to Chicago, Illinois, to make more room in their shelters for any animals displaced from the floods.

Pet owners can call 918-978-PETS, to make arrangements to pick up their loved ones.

If the animals are not picked up today, they will be moved to the Humane Society.

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