The news images of thousands of Texans escaping the devastating flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have been heartbreaking. We’ve also seen distressing photos of people carrying their rain-soaked pets through the floodwaters to safety. Sadly, not everyone is able to evacuate with their pets, and not all evacuation centers can accommodate animals.
As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, many pets are displaced during natural disasters. While some are lucky enough to eventually reunite with their owners, others end up in animal shelters across the affected region (and in many cases, across the country) in need of food, shelter, care…and eventually, a new forever home.
What can you do to help pets affected by the hurricane? The Louisiana SPCA provides some valuable advice, based on their experience with Katrina (Louisiana is also expecting flooding from Harvey). As tempting as it is to donate items like food and other pet supplies, sending things that will need to be stored in a flood zone can create serious problems for overwhelmed shelters. The best option? Send monetary donations to local animal welfare organizations like the SPCA of Texas. Austin Pets Alive is also doing great work helping evacuated pets. Sending local shelters some pet store gift cards or fulfilling amazon.com wish lists are also helpful ways to donate effectively.
CLICK HERE to view an informative video from CBS News about post-Hurricane Harvey pet rescue efforts.