Among the hundreds of people being served in Sissonville by Aldersgate United Methodist Church are some four-legged family members.
Pat Taylor, an Aldersgate UMC member and a coordinator for the church's shelter, said people have been bringing in animals since the shelter opened on Saturday. The church recently finished most of its new Multipurpose Community Center, and a generator was providing electricity and air conditioning.
"People are concerned about their animals," he said, adding that the church houses more pets during dinnertime and overnight than during the day.
Pets must stay in cages during their stay in an unfinished part of the church's community center. Although the area isn't entirely complete, it is air-conditioned.
Two of the church's canine visitors were part of the McClanahan family, who had been staying intermittently at Aldersgate since Saturday.
"It's been wonderful here," Keith McClanahan said. "The people are so nice."
Keith said he and his wife, Anna, and their 13-month-old daughter, Isabella, first heard about the shelter on the radio while waiting for gas and ice in Ripley on Saturday. He said since the dogs are Chihuahuas, the heat doesn't really bother them but the family was concerned about "just leaving them there for so long at a time."
At the Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter on Greenbrier Street, the power was back on by Monday evening after having been out since Friday. Despite the outage, Donna Clark, the shelter's executive director, said the facility wasn't unbearable for the animals.