How To Help Animals In Joplin

A friend in Missouri wrote to tell me that he lost a friend in the Joplin tornado. His cousin survived – huddled in the bathroom closet with his wife and toddler- as their house was smashed to bits around them. I asked how I could help. He said that the Humane Society of Missouri is taking in lost and displaced pets and that they will not go into limited-time shelters, but will be cared for indefinitely until owners or new caretakers are found. Also, the HSM has a facility for farm animals.

I’ll be sending in a donation today. It’s easy through the HSM web site.

I’d also like to send a donation to a canine search and rescue group working in Joplin. It takes years to train search and rescue dog and handler partners. Teams are funded by their members. They sacrifice family life and leave work at a moment’s notice to do this dangerous and arduous task. Does anyone know of a S&R group to donate to?


    • I checked them out the best I could – I’m not convinced that this is the organization I’d give to. I’d rather give directly to a S&R team.

  1. Thank you Terry!!
    I will personally vouch for HSM. This org. steps up time and time again in situations like this. I personally believe they are one of the best Humane Society’s in the country.
    An FYI, the laws have been changed and people cannot be turned away from shelter’s because they have a pet, however reality is that it’s impractical and the facilities and the keeping of family pets who want them back help humans in ways that can’t be measured.

  2. Done..I feel better…That whole situation is beyond horrible.

  3. National Search Dog Foundation has teams in Joplin, they seem to be a legitimate non-profit organization. You can donate through their home page.

    Will donate what I can to HSM also. This spate of deadly weather is beyond comprehension. How can those people go on? Not sure I could, hope I never have to find out.

    • This is a good search dog organization. I’m still looking for a S&R group, though, that’s made up of private citizens. I know people around here who do it, and I’m in awe of their personal resources and commitment that they put to it.

    • I hope no one has to go through such sudden and total devistation either. Trust me, it’s stressfull.

  4. Thanks for the donation and thanks for this article! It’s so important to donate to groups that are coordinating at the disaster zone and doing their jobs professionally. It’s upsetting to read about people with vans driving in and just taking animals. They mean well, but do way more harm than good.

  5. Terry –

    May I suggest Idaho Mountain Rescue ( – a Search and Rescue group that consists of private citizens/volunteers (with K-9 teams). As members pay for their own equipment, I am sure that they would appreciate any and all donations.

    For more information on the American Rescue Dog Association, and photos of the dogs working in Joplin, see their site at:

    Thanks for a wonderful website and all you do.

    With warmest regards,

    Carol V
    Native of “Tornado Alley” (Ohio)
    Former member of Contra Costa County Search and Rescue (CA)
    New resident of Idaho

    • Carol- thanks for these links! I’ll be sure to send funds to ARDA for their work in Joplin, and I’ll be putting IMR on my list of charities that I give to at the end of the year. Have you read, “Scent of the Missing?” A wonderful book about training a S&R dog and how deep the volunteerism and commitment goes for the dog and handler teams.