Pet owners worry while waiting to reunite with pets separated in flood

Omaha, Neb. (WOWT) Devastation ran deep for pet owners hit by the flood. Countless people were separated from their animals during evacuations.

“I wish I had him with me," Maricela Rojas said.

She could not contain her emotion when speaking about her family’s dog, Yati.

In the chaos of evacuations, Rojas did everything she could to keep Yati safe. That meant separation - and like so many pet owners impacted by this flood -- it was breaking her heart.

"He's my baby, he's always around me and I know he's crying a lot,” Rojas said through tears.

She and her family were staying at the Red Cross shelter in Elkhorn. Pets are allowed at this shelter, so she hoped to see Yati soon.

The shelter at Elkhorn Middle School was one of the shelters the Nebraska Humane Society was providing supplies to -- and support for the animals -- shaken by the event.

"We're trying to make it as positive of an experience as possible,” Christina Ferency, a behavioral specialist at the humane society said. “We’re keeping foot traffic to a minimum and giving them things like peanut butter Kongs for a more positive association."

The humane society took in more than 40 four-legged friends and critters displaced by the flood; it's a number they expect to rise as waters recede. They are asked for donations of crates, leashes, collars, towels, food and water bowls.

"If people want to donate those we're happy to try to get those out to the folks who need them the most,” Pam Wiese, V.P. of public relations at the humane society said. “If we can utilize them here, for the animals here we'll utilize them here. If we can utilize them on a rescue we'll use them as we're going out in the field as well."

As for Rojas, her dog was with a friend for the time being. She knew eventually she'd be reunited with him, but that offered little comfort during the time of uncertainty.

"I miss him a lot . . . when I left him there he was crying so much.”