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Brookfield animal activist finds optimism in Texas rescue efforts


Published: Sat, September 9, 2017 @ 12:07 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Florida animals coming to Ohio shelters

By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A local animal activist has returned home to his 12 dogs, six indoor cats and 40 outdoor cats after spending nearly 10 days aiding animal rescue efforts in Texas.

Jason Cooke of Brookfield traveled to Montgomery County, Texas, to help animal rescuers take care of pets lost in the flood after Hurricane Harvey.

“Intakes just started to come into Montgomery County from surrounding areas,” he said. “The last count yesterday was 915 animals that were taken in at the makeshift shelter at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.”

Cooke was part of a relief effort in which he arranged to bring animals that were in the shelter before the hurricane to Ohio to make room for those rescued from the flood.

The rescue efforts were a sight to see, Cooke said.

“We had people bringing in animals after they were out on airboats, on the roofs of houses, up in attics and on high ground flooded completely around them,” he said.

What affected him the most was seeing stressed-out pets and owners frantically searching for them.

“The saddest thing out of all of this is that out of all those animals that came in, maybe 5 percent were microchipped,” Cooke said.

A microchip is an identification implant placed under an animal’s skin.

“It would’ve helped [rescuers] find [pets’] owners so much easier if [owners] would’ve just spent the money to get their pet microchipped,” Cooke said.

To remedy this, Montgomery County Animal Control provided free microchips to all pet owners reunited with their furry family members.

“It’ll save a lot of heartache,” Cooke said.

All-in-all, Cooke said among all of the bad news occurring with natural disasters and political turmoil, rescue efforts for Hurricane Harvey gave him optimism for the world.

“Not only were Texans coming together, but the whole United States came together to help out in this tragedy,” Cooke said.


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