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Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood
Posted at 6:06 PM, Feb 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 12:43:48-05

LIVINGSTON — The difference between the Stafford Animal Shelter in June 2022 to February 2024 is night and day.

The shelter was filled with four feet of water, animals were evacuated and it remained closed for six months following the floodwaters that ripped through it in 2022.

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood
June 2022

"We were completely shut down," the executive director of the shelter, Lauren Smith, said. “We have been back in our main building for about a year now.”

The shelter, which is the only one in Park County, is back to providing a safe space for all animals after many months of hard work and help from the community.

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood
February 2024

“We’ve been able to serve over 1,100 animals, people and their pets this past year and we’re looking forward to serving even more this year,” Smith said.

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood

Last week, the shelter had 90 animals in their care, including five golden retriever puppies that were surrendered to the shelter from an accidental litter.

“These puppies were in critical condition. They were malnourished,” Smith said.

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood

The puppies are immunocompromised and have ringworm.

“Other than that, they are happy, and active and eating, drinking, peeing, pooping like normal puppies do. Which is what we love to see,” the director of operations, Christa Nelson, said.

Bouncing back: Livingston animal shelter helps over 1,000 animals in first year reopen after flood

This Tuesday is World Spay Day and Smith said the puppies are a good reminder of the importance of spaying and neutering pets to help prevent accidental litters and overpopulation.

The nonprofit heavily relies on help from the community, from volunteer work to donations. The annual operating budget is just over $1 million.

“We’re always welcoming new volunteers and medical fosters,” Smith said.