During the early hours of Tuesday, St. Louis was hit by a record-breaking and banks-bursting quantity of rain. In fact, more water fell in eight hours than we’ve received in an entire day, going back all the way to 1915.
Naturally, this storm has affected many of our neighbors, customers, friends and family across the St. Louis metro area. Our hearts go out to everyone who’s woken to find their homes flooded, their property damaged and their loved ones hurt. This was a humbling situation for all of us.
We also had our own flooding incident on Tuesday morning—you may have read about it in the press. At our Brentwood location, forty-two dogs were overnight boarding when floodwaters began to rush into the building. One of our Overnight Managers at another location, Collin Roczey, called Jeremy to alert him. While he and Jim drove there, Clara Sage, the Overnight Attendant at Hanley, took the dogs out of their kennels and placed the smaller ones on top of tables and counters—anything to keep them above the waters.
As the waters reached five feet outside—three feet inside—Jeremy and Jim found the door jammed shut due to the water pressure. They retrieved an ax* from Jim’s car, and Jeremy broke down the door. As a large transformer across the street exploded, Jim, Jeremy and Clara helped keep the dogs out of the floodwater until help arrived.
The Brentwood Fire Department, arriving by boats (!) then helped us rescue each of the forty-two dogs, swimming them out onto the boats. We are proud and relieved to report that each dog is doing well, if a little wet.
We cannot say the same for our location. It’s covered in mud, and any electronics or computers have been destroyed. It will take us days to assess the damage, and weeks at least to undo it. During this period, we’re sad to say that our Hanley location will be indefinitely closed.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank the people who stepped up to make a difference in a terrible situation. The Brentwood Fire Department for rescuing our dogs and so many of our neighbors, bravely risking their lives at a moment’s notice. Our customers (and their dogs!) for your understanding in a difficult time. And, most of all, the heroic efforts of Clara Sage—who’s only been a team member for a month—going above and beyond to protect the lives of the dogs in our care. Thank you, Clara!
We’ll share more about our plans to turn a terrible day into a chance to do some good, soon. For now, we’d like to wish you all a swift and safe recovery from this storm.
*he was planning to have it sharpened. We promise he doesn’t carry it everywhere.