: People play and walk their dogs on the flooded lawn of North Boulder Park September 12, 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. An estimated 6-10 inches of rain fell in 12-18 hours and more is expected throughout the day. Flash flood sirens warned people to stay away from Boulder Creek and seek higher ground. (Photo by Dana Romanoff/Getty Images
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Some helicopters rescuing people after massive flooding in Colorado carried more pets than people.
National Guard spokesman Skye Robinson says the motto during one of the largest evacuations in Colorado history was "no pets left behind." That's because including pets in the rescue effort helped convince even reluctant residents to leave their homes. Officials also had more than enough space for the animals and even carried animal crates with them.
By Wednesday, more than 816 pets had been ferried to safety with their owners via helicopter. Hundreds more were rescued in ground operations.
Once safely on dry ground, Red Cross shelters had water bowls, on-site dog kennels and all the necessary supplies to ensure already stressed evacuees wouldn't have to be separated from their pets.