Local pet resort becomes a shelter to help with flood relief

Written by adsenceatef

WHITESBURG, Ky. — An eastern Kentucky woman is stepping up to help those affected by devastating flooding by taking in their pets.

What You Need To Know

  • Waggin Tails Pet Resort owner Tara Ritchie offered her business as a shelter space for animals impacted by the flooding in eastern Kentucky
  • They are currently boarding around 68 to 72 dogs, 20 cats, some birds, ferrets and snakes
  • Businesses around the country have inquired about how to help and have donated money
  • Ritchie’s goal is to have every animal reunited with its owner

For the past five years, Waggin Tails Pet Resort in Whitesburg has been a boarding, grooming, and doggie daycare facility, but certainly never a shelter.

“We board about 20 to 25. That’s a packed fourth of July week. We were in no way ready for what was about to happen,” said owner Tara Ritchie. “I think today we’re at about 68 to 72 dogs. I think we’re at about 20 cats. Some parakeets, some studs. There’s been some python snakes. There’s been a little bit of everything. Somebody popped out some chickens. Believe it or not, somebody called about a zebra.”

Ritchie saw what her neighbors were going through, and knew she had to do something.

“I knew clients of ours, friends of ours, who have lost everything they had, and were living in their cars with their dogs,” she said. “When the floods hit I was sitting there thinking what in the world could I do to help anybody? I thought, well I could keep their pets.”

She immediately posted on Facebook.

“If you need me, we’re here. Just stop by. We’ll fill it up with animals until we get maxed out,” Ritchie said.

Her staff emptied out all of the grooming equipment, and started taking in all the animals they could, caring for them, feeding them and loving them.

People quickly became inspired by what Ritchie and her team were doing, and started to pitch in, donating money and supplies.

“Overwhelming doesn’t even match the word. When you hear pets are involved, animal lovers from around the country jump in and say what can we do?” Ritchie said.

Ritchie said his goal is to reunite every pet with their owner. Six or seven have gone home just in the last two days.

Until the rest of their families can work through the many challenges they face, they’ll have a home at Waggin Tails.

If you’re interested in helping these pets, there’s a Paypal set up: [email protected].


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