Monday, March 17, 1997
Four-legged flood victims
wait for owners

Falmouth woman
may have your pet

The Cincinnati Enquirer

FALMOUTH - A Pop Tart is what saved the life of one little black Labrador puppy. Now that's his name.

Camped out on the roof of a home that was moved by flood waters to the railroad tracks, the dog had to be coaxed down by the Kentucky National Guard two weeks ago.

First, Pop Tart was taken to the home of Carletta Chaney on Maple. Ms. Chaney was running a shelter for pets abandoned in the flood. At the peak she had 45 cats, dogs, birds and hamsters in her home.

''This is just important,'' Ms. Chaney said, standing amid bags of donated dog food. ''In a way, all some of the folks got out is their cat or dog. The least I can do is care for them.''

Quite a few of the pets she and her boyfriend, Don Jackson, are caring for have been claimed.

Word of Ms. Chaney's efforts got out and residents have stopped by looking for their animals.

''They come and find their pets and they cry; and they come and I don't have them and they cry,'' she said.

Since Ms. Chaney started her efforts, the Denver-based American Humane Association has come to Falmouth to provide more help. The association and animal control officers from Lexington and Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are walking the streets, picking up strays.

And for the first time in its history the humane association has set up a temporary shelter at the fairgrounds.

Last week there were four dogs at the shelter. Now there are 13 dogs and 11 cats.

Pop Tart is there now, too. No one came to Ms. Chaney's house about the puppy and she thought he'd have a better chance of finding his owners at the shelter.

Every animal being cared for has a story. Ms. Chaney and shelter workers have been writing them down.

One dog - an adult mutt - was found last weekend cowering under a house, caked with mud and untrusting of humans.

''I've been working with him to try and establish the bond so he feels comfortable again,'' shelter worker Doug Trowbridge said.

Anyone who has lost a pet can fill out a missing-pet report at the shelter. If a pet resembling the one lost is found, a reunion can take place, shelter worker Trina Hudson said.

Ms. Chaney, secretary of the Pendleton Humane Society, hopes the flood underscores the need for an animal shelter in the county.

Right now her garage is housing all the dogs. She's keeping all the cats inside her house. A neighbor is caring for the birds and hamsters.

Those pets left in the flood who don't find homes soon will be placed in local county shelters.

''If they have a sign by them that says they're from the flood, they'll get snapped up,'' Mr. Trowbridge said. ''We think all of them eventually will find homes.''