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One by One, Pets and Families Reunite

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RALEIGH — They are Hurricane Floyd's forgotten victims; beloved family pets abandoned when the water started rising. While emergency shelters for people are closing, shelters for animals are still full. Some have been in kennels for weeks, just waiting to go home.

One lucky dog got his break.

Four-year-old Tiny went head to head with Hurricane Floyd and won. His family did not have time to grab him when they were rescued from flood waters in Princeville.

"He was in the house the whole time we left. We didn't know it was going to rise that high, so I was very worried about him," says Yolanda Grant.

So it was up to Tiny to make it on his own. It was a challenge he lived up to.

"I was saying that I know Tiny likes to jump, so I figured if the water didn't get up on top of the dressers that's where Tiny would be. Evidently, that's where Tiny was," she says.

Since being rescued, Tiny has been staying at a makeshift shelter run by theNCSU Vet Schooland theHumane Society.

The reunion touched everyone at the shelter.

"That is why we're here," says Leigh Ann Wilder of the Vet School. "That's why everyone is putting in long hours, and we have all these volunteers that are helping us. It was really great for everybody's spirits to finally put somebody back in touch with their pet."

The Grant family lost another dog during the flood, but it was found a few days ago. Tiny was the missing piece to the puzzle.

"He survived, we survived. We're one big happy family again," says Grant.

More than 400 animals were rescued from the floods in eastern North Carolina. Some have health problems, broken bones and parasites from drinking contaminated water.

Vet students, local veterinarians and volunteers are providing medical attention, food, shelter and tender loving care until their owners claim them or another home is found.

If your pet is missing, you can call(919) 715-9679.

Some pets, along with photos and descriptions can be found on the Humane Association's Web site. More pets will be added soon.

A photo album of all the rescuees will be available at local animal shelters sometime next week.

Animals that are not claimed will be available for adoption beginning November 1.

If you would like to make a donation, call (800) HUMANE-1 or send a check to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation at 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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