In the wake of a devastating tornado that left an Oklahoma town in ruins, a Chicago group is reaching out to help the area's four-legged survivors.
PAWS Chicago will travel to Oklahoma Friday to rescue about 75 displaced, injured and homeless pets. The effort aims to provide relief to overcrowded local shelters, including Oklahoma City Animal Care & Control, which took in more than 150 pets after the disaster and is struggling to provide space and supplies.
"We're so excited to be able to help support the secondary impact of the animals in Oklahoma," PAWS Chicago executive director Rochelle Michalek told NBCChicago.
"We're anticipating the new animals will arrive Saturday night around midnight ... and will be available for adoption on Memorial Day," Michalek said.
The group's medical team and volunteers will take the cats and dogs to its Chicago Rescue & Recovery Center where the pets will be given vaccinations, microchips and spay and neuter surgeries.
All tornado survivors will remain at the shelter for 30 days to give their Oklahoma families a chance to find them.
"Animals are so forgiving and they need love, companionship, and we have such an amazing group of volunteers," Michalek said. "Over 350 volunteers will be assisting us this weekend in these life-saving efforts. What they need is just love, compassion and a real safe environment, and it's amazing how quickly they react."
The animals that need the most extensive medical care will be placed in the foster network until they are healthy enough for adoption.
Check PAWS Chicago's website as early as Saturday for info and photos on the animals.