Operation Sunflower relocates pets affected by Hurricane Ida to South Dakota

Local News

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — A bunch of pets were flown out of the hurricane flood zone in Lafayette, Louisiana today. They arrived in Sioux Falls this morning and then traveled to animal shelters throughout the region. Here’s a look at Operation Sunflower.

“Look at you. Welcome to South Dakota.”

Moiria Curry welcomed ten new cats and kittens to Brookings one at a time.

“I’m just so excited for then to have this opportunity for a new life,” said Moiria Curry with the Brookings Regional Humane Society.

But Curry’s connection to the kitties runs deeper, she grew up in Lousiana.

“It felt really wonderful to welcome these animals from a place that I’ve been, a place that’s dear to my heart up to another another place that’s dear to my heart where we really have that goal of helping all of the animals that we can,” said Curry.

90 animals were flow out of the flood zone to make room for stray and injured pets showing up at shelters along the gulf coast. Greater Good Charities coordinated the transportation and Hills pet food paid for the flight.

“They’ll go to Brookings, they’ll go Yankton. They’re going to Sioux City, we even have a transport heading up to Watertown and some going to Fargo,” said Darci Adams with Greater Good Charities.

“These guys are hurricane Ida survivors, they were the adoptable pets in there shelters there, just waiting for homes,” said Curry.

“It’s a little bitter sweet, I’m really excited and humbled that they are entrusting these animals to us, but my heart goes out to the people that are impacted and those that are still there, that are dealing with the hurricane first hand,” said Brookings Regional Humane Society Executive Director Maia Moore.

The flood pets saw clouds overhead at the Sioux Falls airport and sunflowers on the ground. Curry and Adams say “Sunflower” is the perfect name for this operation.

“When you think of sunflowers, you think of bright and the future and they’re always looking up,” said Curry.

“We want these guys to be looking toward their future and we are going to help them find that future,” said Adams.

“Salma and Jasmine… Welcome to South Dakota.”

Most of the animals have been spayed, neutered and microchipped, so they’ll be ready for adoption right away.

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