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How to Help Pets Affected by Harvey Flood

  • How to Help Pets affected by The Hurricane Harvey Flood

Just as in Hurricane Katrina, there are thousands of pets displaced now in Hurricane Harvey and the proceeding Tropical Storm and flooding. Though the storm has been downgraded and will dissipate, the flood waters are still high, many people still need to be rescued and many, many pets are homeless. The Neches River is still rising. Many pets have been rescued but many more have not.

Cat in window was rescued, please rescue pets in need.

My girl was rescued, please rescue.

Many of us want to help in any way we can. What can we do to help these pets who have lost everything?

If you live in the affected area and have a pet or other animal and need help:

Here is a list of organizations that offer emergency services, pet sheltering, food, hotels etc. that allow pets. The list includes services for horses, livestock and wildlife as well.

If you live close by the affected areas in Texas and Louisiana and you want to help:

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • If you are in a position to give a good home to a pet, adopting a pet makes room for others still coming in.
  • You could also offer to foster pets to make room in the shelters. Austin Pets Alive is one shelter dedicated to saving the lives of animals in need. They could use people willing to foster animals in the area.
  • You could donate directly to a local animal shelter. Austin Pets Alive needs the following food and supply items. Click the link to go to the list.
  • Donate unopened pet food to the Operation Kindness Pet Food Panty in Carrollton TX which will be distributed in the Dallas Ft Worth Area. They could also use volunteers.
  • Check out this list of local organizations offering emergency pet sheltering, pet food, and other services for pets, livestock and wildlife in the affected areas to see where you can help.

If you live further away there are ways you can still help.

  • Donate to a reputable rescue organization (beware of scams). Here is a link to the donation page for the Houston SPCA.
  • Follow efforts by the SPCA of Texas and Atlanta Humane Society to move pets from Corpus Christi and Houston to Atlanta and other areas in Northern Texas. Find out where the pets are and which shelters need help. As of today, 8/31/17 they say they are at capacity for volunteers and foster homes but need donations. There are many pets being brought to the Dallas shelters and they need donations.  Atlanta Humane Society also needs donations. Donations now are being matched by donors to the Atlanta Humane Society.
  • Visit this page on the SPCA of Texas website with a list of organizations helping people seeking shelter with or for their pets. Contact them to see how you can help. This list includes shelters, emergency response, fostering, pet food band and other services for people’s displaced pets.
  • If Louisiana is affected, the Louisiana SPCA could use assistance. They have already moved animals out of their shelters to make room just in case.
  • In Seattle WA Seattle Humane is taking 300 pets from Texas shelters due to Harvey flooding with the help of Wings of Rescue. You can adopt from Seattle Humane, donate or volunteer.
  • Wings of Rescue is a great group that uses private pilots and chartered planes to rescue pets from high kill shelters to other shelters that can take them. They can use donations for their rescue flights which save 25,000 pets a year. They are totally dependent on donations.

Horses, Livestock or Wildlife Assistance from Hurricane Harvey

  • The Equine and Livestock Assistance organizations in areas such as Hitchcock, Bacliff and Plantersville TX and Wildlife Assistance: resources located here:
  • List of Hurricane Harvey pet, equine, livestock and wildlife resources.
  • This blog post on the Saddle Seeks Horse website has a list of equine disaster relief funds established after Hurricane Katrina, rescue groups and Facebook groups for horse disaster assistance in East Texas. How to Help Horses Affected By Hurricane Harvey
  • Here is another blog post with a list of organizations seeking donations for horse rescue.

These are just some suggestions. There are always ways to help.

If you know a shelter or group that could use help, please leave a comment with that information below.

Thank you,

Jessica

Thriving Cat is dedicated to making pet care easier and pets healthier. Please check out other posts for recommendations to help pets with “colds” sneezing and runny eyes, tooth and gum disease and bad breath, behavior problems or food sensitivities. There are reviews for high quality affordable cat food, natural odor control litter and much more, so please look around!

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18 Comments

  1. Bobby

    Tragedies like this just break my heart. Not only have so many families lost their life savings and all things they had collected throughout the years but also some lost their family pets as well.
    At one time in my life, I worked as an emergency planner, it was my job to plan for the worst and hoped it never happened. One area that I spent a lot of time with was finding homes for wayward animals. I found out that they had in-home foster parents for animals just like they do for humans. What a neat idea. Never did have to use the plan but it seemed like it would have worked well. You mentioned they do have that strategy already in place. Are there enough people to make a difference?
    You warned about watching out for the scams when donating money, so many people out there ready to scam out money from us especially in a time of need.
    Sounds like the logistics of getting all the animals to a safe place may be a nightmare but all well worth the efforts. Thank you all for your hard work.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Bobby. The need depends on the area right now. The Texas chapter of the SPCA says they have enough volunteers but others like Austin Pets Alive shelter is still recruiting volunteers and fosters. There are other areas around the country that are taking on pets to get them out of the Gulf area and those places need help now. If they can empty the shelters, then those shelters can be used to house people’s pets while they wait to relocate themselves. These would be owned pets, not abandoned.

      All of these organizations could use donations and some have specific needs of pet food, cleaning supplies, cages, litter etc. I tried to give lists of some of these various needs and links to the applicable organization.

      I wish I was closer so I could help in person but I am in Alaska. So, I hope in this way I can help too!
      Thank you,
      Jessica

      Reply
  2. Taetske Guillaume

    Good Morning Jessica.

    What a good initiative you have taken to put this on your website. To lose a dear pet is heartbreaking, I have gone through that numerous times. In case of a natural disaster like this hurricane, it is nearly impossible to find your pet out there. Hopefully, there are kind people who will take your pet in when found lost. Your article will be of great help directing them where to look and go to. I myself live in the south of Spain where there are no such weather phenomena. Still, years ago there was the period from Christmas till well into March where the south had continued rain. The valleys were flooded for many months and livestock, wild animals and also pets were lost. I hope many people will read your article.

    With best wishes, Taetske

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you so much Taetske. I truly hope everyone who can will volunteer, donate, adopt, foster or in some way help all the people and pets affected by this disaster.

      Jessica

      Reply
  3. Madeleine

    The scope of the disaster in Texas is so mindboggling, that one hardly knows where to start helping. It’s wonderful that you have decided to do just that Jessica. You have organized your resources in such a manner that those of us inclined to help, can do so more easily and efficiently. We are very dry here this year and cannot imagine all that rain! Thank you for providing the links Jessica. I am a Canadian, far away from all the disasters we are hearing about, all we can do is pray for God to help those that need it the most and to pull out our wallets.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you very much Madeleine. I am in Alaska so we are too far away to help directly. I want to help someway though so I thought this might be the way I could. I hope posts like these spread far and wide to get word out and help people find a way to help others.

      Thanks,
      Jessica

      Reply
  4. Matthew Owen

    It’s devastating when something like this happens and sometimes people forget about the animals that can’t help themselves.
    I am from the UK so there’s not much I can do but give a donation

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Matthew. I appreciate your concern. I am in Alaska so I am in a similar position, not able to help directly. There is much we can do nowadays though to help from a distance!
      Jessica

      Reply
  5. brad

    Great timing for your post! There are so many pets that are going to displaced from this storm that I’m sure they will outnumber people trying to find their homes!!
    I know that a lot of the rescue animals have been moved to other facilities but what about the animals that they now find local that are obviously lost due to the storm?
    Will they remain in the Houston area to be hopefully reunited with their owner, or they will too moved be to facilities far away with little chance of ever being found by their owners? I have always wondered how that works.

    Great work and hopefully the nightmare for all will over soon.

    take care

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Brad,
      I think the idea is to clear out the shelters of the homeless unclaimed pets who were there before the storm to other areas so that the owned pets (and strays) can be housed in the affected area or as close as possible. There is a great effort this time to keep pets and people together that did not happen during Hurricane Katrina. Pets are getting airlifted out with people this time.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Jessica

      Reply
  6. Merry

    What a wonderful way to help Jessica. I too am too far away, and we have just come thru some terrible wild fires where many animals were needing help and food. It is always heart warming to see how everyone comes together and goes the extra mile to help where they can. Thoughts are with everyone and Houston and other parts of Texas. Thank you for sharing so many links for people to help. I saw how many celebs have come together raising funds! Awesome as well.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Merry. I am so glad I have the ability to do something to help a little even though I am so far away in Alaska. I can’t imagine if I was separated from my pets or I had to go to a shelter and they couldn’t be with me! There are always tragedies at times but now people all over the world can help which is wonderful. Wild fires scare me more than anything. We have those here in Alaska in the summer sometimes. We get many that are started by lightening or careless people.
      Thanks,
      Jessica

      Reply
  7. Justin C.

    This article could not have come at a better time. It’s truly unfortunately that so many people and animals still need to be rescued.

    You provided some excellent ways for all of us to help these affected animals. Volunteering is always a great option especially now. I can almost guarantee that the shelters and clinics are short handed right now.

    Providing a home for these displaced animals is truly a selfless act and the best way to help out.

    For those of us that are not in the surrounding area donating what we can comfortably give away would prove to be the best option and these organizations could really use all the help that we can provide.

    It’s truly astonishing how may charities and organizations exist that provide the level of care that they do.

    I hope that this mess is cleared up soon. Its sad to see so much life devastated.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Justin,
      I will be updating this post to add more information as I find it on shelters and other organizations in place to helps pets and other animals in the flood area. I know this post is just scratching the surface and there are many, many more groups that could use help!

      Thank you for caring and leaving a comment as well.
      Jessica

      Reply
  8. Leslie Shimasaki

    This is great information! I’m glad you were able to put together so much info on a subject close to my heart. I wish I was closer so I could foster animals in need. But instead I will donate to worthy causes that will help these animals. Thanks for your caring, informative article!

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Leslie for stopping by and caring! I will try to add more information and links to this list as I find them. I am sure this disaster will affect people and their pets for many months to come.

      Jessica

      Reply
  9. GiuliaB

    It’s very sad to hear how pets may be affected as badly has humans when these natural calamities fall on Earth. It is reassuring to hear, however, that there are charities and rehoming centres who can lend a helpful hand. In the past I guess priority would have been given solely to humans, as animals, well it didn’t really matter what their fate may be. It is nice to know that now pets are treated as members of families, and equally worth rescuing and surviving. And that’s the way it should be. As a dog owner, if anything happened to me, I wouldn’t want anything different but knowing that my Indy be taken care of and lovingly looked after.
    Thank you, Jessica, for letting us know about so many organisations which we can help with donations, even from afar 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Giulia. If everyone helped just a little all these pets in shelters could get what they need. Hopefully spreading the word a little can start a chain reaction of help. I am seeing things on TV and everywhere online for ways to assist or donate to those affected.

      Jessica

      Reply

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