Since making landfall Friday night in Texas, Hurricane Harvey has caused widespread destruction and record flooding in large parts of the state. Over 50 inches of rain have fallen in some areas.
With the severe flooding, and people struggling to keep themselves and their families out of the water, dogs (and cats) are in dire straits. People are being evacuated as fast as possible, and many of them are not permitted or able to take their pets. News reports show animals on roofs and in trees, and few volunteers are available to help rescue, house, and care for them. Abandoned animals and permanently homeless animals alike are fending for themselves in the flooded city.
These animals need help, and they need it now. What’s needed the most are donations of dog and cat food, cages, crates, leashes, veterinary supplies – and money, so that all of these things can be purchased to help care for the animals until they can be reunited with their owners or new homes can be found for them.
So how can you help? If you live near affected areas, volunteer to foster. Shelters will be overflowing with dogs and cats, so you can help free up much needed space by opening your own home to one or more animals. Volunteer to walk, groom, socialize or otherwise care for animals at your local shelter. Donate food, blankets, leashes and other much needed items. Offer to transport animals to shelter locations. If you see an animal in need of rescue, help if you can do so safely (without putting yourself in danger), otherwise contact the appropriate authorities in your area.
If you are not close to the area, consider making a monetary donation to animal rescue groups, shelters and humane societies. Housing, feeding and caring for misplaced animals will require a lot of resources, and every little bit will help these animals while they wait to be reunited with their families or adopted into loving new homes. Look for places you know and trust, so you can be sure that your donation will directly benefit animals in need.
It will take months, even years, for the affected cities to recover fully from this devastating event. Let’s all chip in wherever we can to help get them on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.