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'Water was too deep': 10 puppies at a St. Peters shelter died during flash flooding

Stray Paws Rescue staff said the water was up to their big dogs' chests, but was too deep for the puppies who didn't survive.

ST. PETERS, Mo. — Stray Paws Rescue President Linda Roever is used to hearing dogs barking when she steps through the shelter doors, not giant fans and vacuums.

"It's just not good," Roever said. "When we got here, everything was pretty much floating."

St. Peters hit record flood levels during Monday's overnight storm. With Highway 70 shut down in the morning, it took a while for Roever to get to the shelter. 

For some of their animals, it was too late.

"The big dogs were about chest high in water," Roever said. "We probably had around 25, and the 10 puppies were the only ones that didn't make it and that's just because the water was too deep for them."

It was all hands on deck for the St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management crews. 

"Most of our damage and problems were north of 70. There's a few pockets south of 70 and other places in the county where flash flooding was an issue," St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management Director Chris Hunt said.

RELATED: From photos to front pages, this is what the St. Louis 1915 rainfall record looked like

Hunt says St. Peters was one of their hardest hit areas.

"Most of those businesses were affected by the flood, but what you won't see is bad attitudes. They're working together, no time for complaining. They're cleaning up and they're trying to get back in business," Hunt said.

That was true for Animal Talk Medical Center in Wentzville, the new temporary home for the 15 dogs that survived.

"We had one dog who got a little cold, he was a little hypothermic when he came in a little shocky. We got him warmed up and some IV fluid," veterinarian Jacob Lucas said. "He's lucky. He probably wasn't too far beyond those puppies here."

Aside from minor scrapes and bruises, Lucas said the other dogs are fine and will stay there until Roever can give them to their foster families.

"We have the ability to hold them literally as long as she needs to," Lucas said.

"We're doing okay, we're going to rebuild and go forward," Roever said.

RELATED: Resources and how to help those affected by St. Louis area flooding

Stray Paws Rescue saves a lot of animals from being euthanized in other states. They rent their building and say the landlord doesn't have flood insurance.

Roever said they've had an outpouring of support through donations after posting the damage online.

We are beyond appreciative of the outpouring of help from our community. We are working through foster applications and...

Posted by Stray Paws Adoptables on Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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