Flooding in Iowa

Code 3 was deployed to assist in the Iowa Communities affected by the recent flooding. The team headed to one of the hardest hit communities first, Cedar Rapids, to join our long time partners The Humane Society of Missouri in their efforts to make a difference for the animals. Code 3 and HSMO were also being joined by HSUS.





When we arrived the effected areas of Cedar Rapids were under approximately 10 feet of water. It was time for the teams to break out the water rescue gear and boats. The people affected were able to call into a phone bank and request rescue for pets left behind.

Regional Team Lead Eric Thompson and Team member Cathy Hammack from the Kansas City, KS area were the first Code 3 team to arrive. They went right to work and spent the day in the affected area with the HSMO team responding to rescue requests. Kay Mayfield and Mike West (Goose) arrived late afternoon

Sunday June 15, 2008
Code 3, HSMO and HSUS teams gathered in the staging area to receive rescue assignments. Each 2 person team was accompanied by a local fire fighter who knew the area and could help guide us.

The teams worked through the requests in hand with more coming in. The teams worked water operations hard all day to pull as many animals as we could get to. With night coming on we pulled out boats for the day.

Code 3’s Jim Boller and team member Jason Painter arrived from a training class in VA to join the effort.

Monday June 16, 2008
HSMO Teams left to go back to MO due to reports of flooding in their own state.

The day brought a large drop in the water levels, enabling most of the teams to drive into the affected areas to perform rescues. With one team (Jim & Jason) going out on the remaining water to recover the animals there, the rest of the teams went to work slogging through ankle to knee high water, mud and slime to get to our rescues.

Code 3 team members Eric & Goose braved a High Rise in the flood water and dark, climbing to the 19th floor to rescue a cat.

Tuesday June 17, 2008
All of the teams spent the day driving or walking into the affected area. By the end of the day we had completed all of the out standing rescue requests.

Code 3 was demobilized from Cedar Rapids and redeployed to Iowa City.


  • The numbers of Animals rescued from Cedar Rapids is:
  • Dogs 19
  • Cats 299
  • Birds 8
  • Lizards 1
  • Other 7
  • Total 334 Animals


Wednesday June 18, 2008
Code 3 teams arrived at the Emergency Shelter set up at the Johnson County Fair Grounds where the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center had evacuated their animals to and were housing other animals affected by the flood waters. The teams were responding to a request for water rescue team assistance from the State Department of Agriculture and Misha Goodman, Director of Animal Services in Iowa City.

After unloading boats and equipment Jim and Goose responded to several calls in the Johnson county area while Kay and Jason responded to calls in Coralville city.


  • The two teams were able to rescue:
  • Cats 10
  • Birds 2
  • Bearded Dragon 1
  • Rabbit 1
  • White Tree Frog 1
  • Several Fish Tanks 50 (Inc. a catfish and several sharks)
  • Total 65 Animals


The teams were able to clear all outstanding calls.

Thursday June 19, 2008
The teams assisted the staff of the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center in removing some important paperwork and equipment from inside the center which was still surrounded by about 2 feet of water.

The team also received some much needed down time to catch up on general equipment repairs and laundry.

As no more rescue requests were received the teams were demobilized and redeployed 80 miles south to Donnellson, IA for the following morning.

Friday June 20 & Saturday June 21, 2008
The Code 3 teams were deployed to assist Lee County in assessing the needs of the communities along both the Mississippi River and the Des Moines River. After checking in at the staging area that was being set up at the Lee County Fair Grounds in Donnellson the teams got to work checking on not only the 6 communities where flooding was reported but the whole length of both rivers within the county.

After two days of checking with City officials, Fire Departments, Police, Sheriff’s and National Guard and physically running the roads along the rivers we only found a few areas with minor flooding and none of the communities needing any assistance. The rivers crested between Friday and Saturday and were receding so on Saturday afternoon after reporting our findings to the EOC we were demobilized to return back to Longmont the following day.

The State of Iowa and the State Department of Agriculture thanked Code 3 for our team’s assistance to their communities and their animals in their time of need.

We would like to thank our Volunteers and Donors, who make it possible for Code 3 to do what we do best!

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