The twister killed 153 people and left nearly one-third of the city's 50,000 residents homeless. Some pets were stranded after their owners went missing; others were abandoned by owners who could not find a home for themselves, the AP reported.
About 900 pets now call the shelter home, which is three times the normal amount of animals the shelter holds.
An “adopt-a-thon” is planned for the weekend of June 25-26, during which the shelter hopes to find homes for most of the animals.
Some pet owners have checked the shelter in vain for their pets, who may have run away in the chaos. Joplin resident Linda Head, who visits the shelter twice a day, hasn’t been able to locate her two dogs since the disaster.
“Honey, when I left here the first time, I bawled all the way home,” Head told the AP during a recent visit to the shelter. “I'll bawl all the way home today, because I don't have my buddies.”