Mud cascaded through the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter on Dec. 22, wiping out the contents and severely, maybe irreparably, damaging the complex, which was scheduled for renovation in early 2011.
An assessment of the structural damage is under way, civilian shelter supervisor Jim Beres said Wednesday. Walls are still standing, but for how long or if they should be, is being evaluated.
"Right now we urgently need to get in there and do some assessment," Beres said. "A civil engineer is out there today and was out there yesterday and the day before.
"Considering what happened, it could have been worse."
All the animals except two chickens and a rabbit — which perished — were evacuated and are being cared for in the Mission Viejo shelter, Jim Beres said. The animals' return to Laguna depends on how soon the temporary shelter, to which they were to be relocated during the renovation, can be up and running.