While Dallas and Fort Worth prepare for the arrival of people evacuees from Hurricane Harvey, rescue groups are gearing up to handle displaced animals, as well.
The primary players in Dallas dealing with evacuees' pets are Dallas Animal Services (DAS) and the SPCA. The two organizations have set up a temporary animal shelter near the Mega Center at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, so that evacuees are close by and can visit their pets.
RedRover, a national nonprofit animal welfare organization based in California, is helping provide daily care; the SPCA contacted RedRover to ask that it provide support during the emergency.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Animal Rescue Team has arrived in Texas City, an area devastated by flooding. It's accepting donations at humanesociety.org/harvey or by texting LOVE to 20222, to donate $10 to its Disaster Relief Fund. It has a fact sheet on ways people can help.
Operation Kindness' Pet Food Pantry is collecting donations of pet food and kitty litter which they will provide to evacuees. Current needs include dry and canned dog and cat food, puppy and kitten food, puppy and kitten formula, ID Wet, KD Wet, and cat litter. Donations can be dropped off at Operation Kindness, at 3201 Earhart Dr. in Carrollton.
In advance of the storm, the SPCA also took in 123 un-owned cats from The Cattery Cat Shelter in Corpus Christi on August 25. It accepts monetary donations at www.spca.org/give or supplies though Amazon.com. You can also become a foster by signing up at www.spca.org/foster.
Independent groups such as Flower Mound rescue group Humane Tomorrow have begun to mobilize by taking in animals and training fosters.
Humane Tomorrow has already taken in 17 dogs and 12 cats from one of the shelters hosting evacuated animals, and is seeking new foster homes to make space for future evacuees.
"In these situations, the animals in the immediate path of the storm aren't the only ones displaced," says Humane Tomorrow executive director Stacy Smith. "Shelters that take in evacuated animals can quickly run out of room, overburdening the staff and leaving animals already in their care with less time to find homes. Those are animals we can help immediately by moving them into foster homes."
Humane Tomorrow will host a new foster home orientation on September 2 at Innovate Flower Mound, 650 Parker Square Rd., from 2-4 pm. To join its program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-691-7387. It's also accepting monetary donations at humanetomorrow.org.