Colo. animal shelter overcrowded with pets displaced by floods

Colin Dinsmore, of Summit County Rescue, center, carries a dog on his shoulder after rescuing 3 people, 5 dogs and 2 cats from a flooded home, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 in Boulder, Colo.
Jeremy Papasso,AP Photo/The Daily Camera

LONGMONT, Colo. More than 200 pets separated from their families in Colorado's historic floods are now living at a local animal shelter, reports CBS Denver.

The Longmont Humane Society welcomes the pets but the facility is over capacity and operating on a paper-thin budget.

Flood evacuees have been going in and out of the Humane Society's doors to try and connect with their animals who were separated from them during the floods, but the doors could permanently close due to some big financial woes.

When a CBS crew was at the facility they met Seri, 8, and Mollie, 6, who were not badly affected by the floods but they heard about the people and the animals who were.

"We collected money from our neighbors to donate to the Humane Society," Seri said. "Since a bunch of people got stranded they don't have enough room for all the pets."

Their small jar of cash will go a long way for the financially burdened Longmont shelter.

"Well before this flood emergency we had a personal emergency with our building as a whole," Executive Director Liz Smokowski said. "We are facing a possible foreclosure."

Smokowski said the Humane Society is about 100 animals over capacity and in November they will have to pay approximately $800,000 -- only a fraction of the $3.1 million they need to keep the doors open.

Donated dog and cat food has helped.

"We lived on the island where they were no bridges and no ways in or out," Zachary Danduran said.

Danduran and his sisters are living in a trailer right now because their home was flooded.

Their dogs and cats are staying at the shelter. "I think it's really great how everyone at the Humane Society is letting all the dogs stay here," Amanda Danduran said.

But the shelter's new concern is footing medical bills.

"Bacteria is growing in puddles of water throughout our community," Smokowski said.

All animals should stay away from flood water.

The biggest concern is the health of the animals and that's why the Humane Society is asking for monetary donations to save the pets and the doors to the shelter. Just $20 can vaccinate four animals.