HERRIMAN, Utah (ABC4) — Over 30 people came to the rescue as flood waters were rising in a Herriman dog shelter on the night of Aug. 3, according to Outreach Pawsabilities.
Kim Mikesell, the director and founder of the nonprofit Outreach Pawsabilities, said there were about 20 dogs in a structure that began filling with water late at night from Thursday’s storm. That night, she was at home and checked the camera she keeps to watch over the dogs when she noticed the flooding.
While most of the dogs’ kennels were sitting above ground on pallets, three to four dogs were wading in six inches of water, with one running around the building.
Mikesell’s daughter posted on Facebook asking for help around 10 p.m. and people reportedly started showing up within 20 minutes. Mikesell said so many people came to help they eventually had to start turning people away, with many of them staying to help until 3 a.m.
Volunteers, which included Herriman Mayor Lorin Palmer and City Councilman Teddy Hodges, helped move the dogs and scoop out the water from the building.
Mikesell said they could have never accomplished the feat without everyone’s help.
“It changed my whole thoughts on humanity,” Mikesell said. “I want to thank each and every one [of them].”
No dogs or people were injured in the flooding, however, Mikesell said they were a bit traumatized the following day. After a few days passed, Mikesell said they were back to normal and “not missing a beat.”
The building, while no longer under several inches of water, is still leaking and will need to be redone, according to Mikesell.
Outreach Pawsabilities has over 100 dogs at this time, which is more than they were originally prepared to take in. The nonprofit cares for dogs that are going to be euthanized due to age or illness. They also care for sick dogs and raise funding to get them the care they need.
Mikesell said many of the older dogs come from owners who have passed away and are not adopted from shelters as often.
After the flood, the organization decided to start raising funds to remodel the old structure to include a quarantine room for sick dogs and a hangout room for older dogs with a TV and lounge area for people to spend time with them. Mikesell said this will help them get the interaction they need.
For those who want to help support the nonprofit at this time, there are many ways to assist including volunteering and donating. The organization could also use help from any contractors who would be able to give advice on the building and what it would take to rebuild.
The nonprofit will be throwing a barbecue for every one who assisted with the flooding clean-up. For more information on the event or how to help in the future, contact Outreach Pawsabilities using its website or Facebook page.