Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas on August 25, 2017, has already caused a great loss of life that is absolutely heartbreaking. Inevitably, there will be more to count. As sad as that is, our focus should be set on saving as many lives as possible.
This includes the lives of dogs and cats who have been left behind, stranded, and in need of rescue.
Many families have had to make the really horrible, gut-wrenching decision between retreating with their kids to a shelter that doesn’t accept animals, or waiting out the storm with their animals. It’s really just something no one should ever have to decide.
Yet, here we are. Here are 7 ways that you can help dogs and cats, an all the animals in need of rescue in Houston and surrounding areas. From near or far, there is a way for you to help right now.
Thousands Of Cats And Dogs Are At Risk
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, over 600,000 cats and dogs perished due to the disaster. Hopefully, with that foresight, we prepared more carefully to keep those numbers much lower after Hurricane Harvey.
Shelters have already taken steps by transporting animals outside of the high-risk areas and preparing before the storm, but now that we’re dealing with the aftermath, it’s time to take action. And fast.
There is no more surefire way to make a tangible difference than getting out there on site and volunteering your time. If you’re an animal welfare professional, you can fill out this form, which will be shared with the Houston SPCA and the SPCA of Texas.
There are many animals currently in Houston and surrounding shelters that are looking for foster homes so that more rescued animals can stay at the local shelters.
If you live nearby or within driving distance, inquire with shelters in affected areas to ask if you can come pick up an animal (or a few) to foster until Houston gets back on its feet.
Some folks from far away are even making efforts to foster, like one woman in New Jersey who transported 11 rescues from Texas to the east coast.
3. Report Animals You See
If you live in the area and see strays, make sure that you report them to the shelters and animal rescue teams. No one will be able to help an animal if no one knows she is there.
You can also make a post on social media giving the exact location of the animal in need. You never know if someone with a boat and compassion will see it.
Social media is a great way to quickly spread the word. If you see a post begging for help rescuing a specific animal spotted in the floods, share it!
Your online network spreads far and wide. So you never know who may end up seeing the picture or the call to action that you shared. This is not a time to worry about a carefully curated Facebook timeline. Real lives are on the line!
5. Donate Money
Of course you know that you can donate to a disaster relief effort, but it’s worth a mention because the Houston Humane Society really needs every penny that they can muster right now.
This is also an important way to help because folks from all across the world can contribute, even if it is just a small amount.
You can donate right now, right here to make a difference from your home.
6. Donate Supplies
Animal shelters in the area are in desperate need of all kinds of supplies in the wake of the storm. As more and more animals come through shelters, more dog treats, tarps, cat litter, crates, and a whole list of items are needed.
There is a whole list of in-kind items on Austin Pets Alive that you can donate.
7. Help Transport
If you have a boat or a truck that can help transfer animals from crowded shelters to foster homes; and less crowded shelters further away from disaster, please consider taking time to do so. Your assets and your sympathy for these poor animals is needed now more than ever. The more manpower we have, the more animals we can save.
Please SHARE this crucial information with your family and friends on Facebook! Every little bit of help can save a life.