Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A portrait of happiness for flood victims

Amber Johnson, her son Dontae, and their three dogs, Runt, Kodi and Sky, lost everything when their mobile home park went completely under water and was destroyed when the Souris River flooded in June. FEMA put Amber and Dontae up at a motel, and Amber brought the three dogs to the emergency animal shelter in Minot, North Dakota.

Now the family is waiting for a FEMA trailer. Amber doesn’t know for sure if and when it will come, but, with a four-year-old son, Amber is hoping that she’s high up on the waiting list for trailers.

Amber Johnson holds her son Dontae, while
Kodi, Runt and Sky eagerly wait to go home,
On August 2, Amber and Dontae came to the emergency animal shelter to pick up dogs Runt and Kodi. They had picked Sky up a couple of days earlier. Amber’s mother was in the mandatory evacuation zone but her home had sewer backup only, and, since then, her mother’s basement has been gutted and cleaned out. It would be a good place for the dogs to stay temporarily until Amber has housing.

Families may take crates, donated by PetSmart
Charities Emergency Relief Waggin' program,
when they pick up their pets.
What did the emergency animal shelter meant to Amber and Dontae? Amber says, “Everyone at the shelter has been unbelievable!” With tears welling up in her eyes, she added, “I don’t know what we would have done without this shelter.” In fact, Amber felt so happy about reuniting the family that she asked us to hold up on the photo shoot until she could go pick up Dontae and Sky so they could also be part of the family portrait!

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