Joplin: One Year Later

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 10:00am

Who could ever forget that tragic day? It was just one year ago that a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 150 people and reducing a once thriving town to rubble.

Amid the deadly chaos, more than 1,000 beloved pets went missing. It took less than a moment before Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response and a Joplin native himself, deployed his team to help. What followed was the largest animal rescue and sheltering mission we have ever undertaken.

With your support, we rescued hundreds of stranded and injured animals. We built an emergency shelter and managed a medical triage station. We provided food, comfort and love to frightened animals. And, most important, we reunited hundreds of beloved pets with their families.

We won't lie—it was hard. Our team worked long hours and saw tremendous heartbreak. But through our efforts, we also saw tremendous joy. Together we changed the lives of hundreds of animals and helped a community recover its incredible spirit. 

Without you, we never could have helped so many animal and human victims of the Joplin tornado. Please help us stand at the ready to respond whenever and wherever we are needed.

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Already a member and makes me happy to see caring people like you make a difference.


Kudos to Tim Rickey and his team for jumping in immediately and organizing the rescues. However I was appalled to learn, according to their own article, that it has not been until now that the ASPCA has put forth anything resembling large-scale planning for disasters. They pat themselves on the back for doing it now - what have they been doing all these years?!

Liz Bernica

Thank you to Tim Rickey and the team of ASCPA volunteers who selflessly give so much to the noble community of Joplin, MO. Your thoughtfulness and rapid response in rescuing pets after the devastating F-5 tornado last year was a expedient, clever and heartfelt effort. Can you imagine the comfort of being reunited with your beloved pet after such a horrendous tragedy? This wonderful community of Joplin, my hometown, truly appreciates every single kindness that comes their way and they still need so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.