Posts Categorized: Disaster

Saving Pets from California Wildfires

Bernie, an injured cat at Butte Humane Society

As wildfires devastate California, we’re helping shelters save displaced and injured pets. Here are a few of the disaster grants we’ve sent out so far:

Butte Humane Society: $4,000
The Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County has destroyed more than 10,000 structures, displaced more than 50,000 people, and caused more than 60 deaths, and more than 600 people are currently reported missing. Many households in the region have pets. “Conservatively, we estimate that there will be at least 15,000 dogs and cats (not including other small animals or livestock) that are displaced, injured, abandoned, lost or have already perished,” Butte Humane Society Development Director Brad Montgomery tells us. “We feel it will take weeks or even months in order to truly evaluate the scope of the impact.”

BHS has been working with regional partners to do everything it can to help its community’s pets and their owners. The first day of the fire, the shelter moved out all of its adoptable animals — either to emergency foster homes or shelters in safe zones — to open up needed space for evacuees’ pets and injured and stray animals from the impacted areas.

Ruger, a rescued dog at BHS

“Our partners North Valley Animal Disaster Group, Chico Animal Control and Butte County Animal Control have handled much of the sheltering of the evacuated animals, and we’ve been asked to shelter and care for overflow and a number of injured strays,” Montgomery says. “We also noticed that, because people can’t keep their animals with them at the American Red Cross shelters, many people have chosen to keep their animals with them wherever they are, from living the last week in a Walmart parking lot to staying with friends or in motels, to staying in shelters and keeping their animals outside in their vehicles or in crates or whatever they have.”

To help these evacuees, the shelter established a temporary pet-supply resource center at an offsite warehouse. “We have received literally tons of donated pet supplies and we are giving them to people in need,” Montgomery says. “People are breaking into tears when we give them a doggy bed, a bag of cat food, or a dog leash.”

A burned stray cat being cared for at BHS

BHS has also been providing veterinary services at its clinic. “We are fortunate to have an exceptional veterinarian named Dr. Turner, as well as backups in crisis from other partner agencies,” Montgomery says. “Dr. Turner lost her home in this fire, yet she’s still at work providing our clinic services. She’s ensuring that the injured animals we are taking care of are getting the treatments they need.”

At the same time, the shelter continues to provide many of its regular services, such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchipping. “We have started providing these services at no cost to those impacted by the Camp Fire,” Montgomery says. “It’s simply the right thing to do in this situation to remain true to our organizational mission. Our average costs are roughly $190 per animal.”

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society: $3,000
Southern California is suffering from wildfires as well. As of Nov. 17 in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the Woolsey Fire was 82% contained after burning 98,362 acres and displacing thousands of people and animals. Santa Maria Valley Humane Society is providing care and safety to dogs and cats transferred from at-capacity shelters in the area.

Dogs transferred to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society to make room for evacuees’ pets

“On average, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society cares for about 100 dogs and cats at any given time,” says Executive Director Sean Hawkins. “In addition, this last week we accepted another 43 dogs and cats who were transferred to us from Ventura County Animal Services and Santa Barbara County Animal Services so that those agencies could make room for animal victims of the emergency evacuation due to the Woolsey Fire.”

Our grant funds will be used for veterinary care of these animals, including specialized surgeries, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and to help offset fee-waived adoptions to move these animals into homes as quickly as possible.

Surfcat Cafe and Adoptions: $2,500
Our grant will help the Oxnard, CA-based rescue group care for cats displaced by the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

Osiris, an injured cat cared for by Surfcat Rescue

“Our first response is to help fire victims recover their cats,” says Executive Director Leslie Ann Weiss. “We were able to purchase wildlife night-vision cameras and feeding-site materials so displaced cats had food and water. Once cats were spotted on the video feed, we were able to place humane live traps to rescue them and reunite them with their humans.”

The group is also pulling “less-adoptable” cats from local shelters including Ventura County Animal Services and Humane Society of Ventura. The Petfinder Foundation’s Disaster Grant will help fund emergency medical care for injured cats and supplies for foster parents keeping displaced cats safe and healthy until they can be in a more permanent location.

Thank you so much for your donation to our Disaster Fund; we could not have helped these organizations save lives without donors like you!

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Meet the Florence Victims Our Grant Recipients Saved!

Hensley, a female Lab-mix puppy, was found in Pender County, N.C., by the Asheville-based Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

Here’s an update on how the adoption groups who received Petfinder Foundation Disaster Grants are helping pets impacted by Hurricane Florence.

A dog being transported to safety by Peak Lab Rescue

We granted $2,500 to Peak Lab Rescue in Apex, N.C., which has rescued more than 100 dogs from Florence, including 48 dogs pulled before the storm at the request of shelters facing closure, as well as pets still being rescued from affected areas on an ongoing basis. The group also transported 42 dogs and 40 cats to safety from the Carteret County Humane Society in Newport, N.C., after it was partially destroyed by Florence.

Larkin, a 3-month-old kitten, was found by Brother Wolf in Pender County, N.C.

We granted $2,000 to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C., which rescued and/or provided care to around 250 animals before and after Hurricane Florence. Brother Wolf evacuated animals from shelters in Harnett County, N.C., and Horry and Fairfield Counties in South Carolina, transporting them to 10 rescue partners New York State and Fort Myers, Fla.

Brother Wolf also sent its Rapid Response team to rescue stray, lost and abandoned animals from the floodwaters in Warsaw, N.C. The pets rescued included a tiny 4-week-old kitten found screaming for help atop a floating pile of debris; two dogs, one of them completely blind, who’d been abandoned in one-foot-deep freezing water inside their home; and four cats whose elderly owners had been forced to evacuate without them and were desperate to get them back.

Kassandra was rescued by Operation Paws for Homes

We also granted $1,500 to Operation Paws for Homes in Alexandria, Va., which transported animals from rural North and South Carolina shelters. The pets saved included Kassandra (above), a 5-year-old Lab mix who’d been in a shelter that was right in Florence’s path and was forced to evacuate. Kassandra, who is shy at first but gets along with dogs, cats, and kids, is healthy and ready for her forever home!

Gummo was brought to an N.J. foster home .

Our grant of $1,000 to JerseyGirls Animal Rescue in South Plainfield, N.J., helped the seven dogs the group rescued from North Carolina, before and after Hurricane Florence. All the dogs, who range from just under a year to 4-5 years old, received routine vet care, spay/neuter, and treatment for any medical conditions, and all seven are still available for adoption. They include Gummo (above, pictured while waiting for transport to a foster home in New Jersey).

Thank you so much for your donation to our Disaster Fund; we could not have helped these organizations save lives without donors like you!

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We’re Helping Save Pets from Hurricane Florence

A dog evacuated by Brother Wolf

As the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence continue to rise, we’re helping adoption groups that are rescuing abandoned animals and evacuating adoptable pets from local shelters to make room for flood victims.

A kitten rescued by Brother Wolf

We’ve sent a Disaster Grant to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C., whose Rapid Response team is running search-and-rescue efforts in flooded areas. “It’s not uncommon to find dogs on chains neck-deep in water, community cats in trees, and animals who are ill, injured, or severely malnourished and dehydrated from surviving for days without food or fresh water,” Brother Wolf’s Andee Bingham tells us.

A puppy rescued by Operation Paws for Homes

We’ve also rushed funds to Operation Paws for Homes in Alexandria, Va., which transported animals from rural North and South Carolina shelters in Florence’s path. “Many have only outdoor kennels that offer little protection from the elements,” says OPH volunteer Mark Conners. The pets are now in loving foster homes and receiving necessary veterinary care.

This dog is safe with JerseyGirls.

Another Disaster Grant recipient, JerseyGirls Animal Rescue in South Plainfield, N.J., has taken in adoptable dogs from a North Carolina shelter that had to evacuate prior to Florence’s arrival. “We intend to rescue more dogs from the areas affected by the hurricane,” says president Rosemary Petriello. “Unfortunately, the likelihood of those dogs being in poor health is very high.

These grants are just the beginning of what we expect to be weeks of rescue and recovery efforts. We are continuing to reach out to shelters and rescue groups to provide whatever assistance is needed.

Your donation to our Disaster Fund will help the animal victims of Hurricane Florence.

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Helping Pets Burned and Displaced by California Wildfires

A burned cat at Sonoma Humane Society

Sonoma Humane Society: $4,000

“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented wild fire disaster,” says Development Director Melissa Dobar. “Many have had to evacuate quickly and were not able to take their animals. Over 2,000 residences have been destroyed. Since this began on Oct. 8, 2017, we have had hundreds of calls and animals come through our doors. The disaster continues with winds moving fires throughout the community.

“We are providing services with a skeleton crew, as many of our own staff have lost homes and are evacuated and some are living at the shelter. We are taking in burned and injured animals and providing shelter and medical care; facilitating a lost-and-found-pets effort; providing resources and items to evacuees; and working closely with our municipal shelter, Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS), and the California Veterinary Medical Association to make our medical and surgery suites available for animals impacted by the fires.

“As the fires began, the SCAS shelter lost power, phones and Internet and, until they recovered, we were set up to provide communications and assistance on their behalf. We are also in communication with partner shelters and rescues throughout the area. Our primary partnership is with SCAS, as they lead the Emergency Operations for the animals in our area.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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$20,000 to Humane Society of Puerto Rico

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Sol is at Humane Society of Puerto Rico.

Humane Society of Puerto Rico: $20,000

Like the rest of the island, the Guaynabo-based shelter serving the greater San Juan area was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria. “We lost a component to our power generator, components for our surgical table, our refrigerator to store vaccinations, and our van has died,” says Executive Director Maritza Rodriguez. “We sustained significant water damage. We need help making these repairs so we can become fully functional again and reopen our medical clinic, which provides low-cost services to thousands of animals every year. We imagine that many animals have been injured by Maria and, in the long term, we want to be able to offer them care — from basic vaccinations and testing, to surgeries for broken bones, and sterilizations.

“This will be an ongoing project, as we imagine the fallout from Maria will go on for months and months, if not years. We believe our generator repairs would be about $2,000, our surgical table about $500, a new refrigerator $1,500, and a new (second-hand) van $5000. We would put the rest of the grant money into animal medical services to allow us to reduce our prices even more for animals affected by Maria. After Irma hit, we saw a very high incidence of animals that had been run over by vehicles, and we imagine the same will be true here. We would like to be able to help them, and also provide DHLPP [distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus], rabies, and bordetella vaccinations, as well as fecal tests and treatment, and spay/neuter services.

“Given the severity of the situation on the ground in Puerto Rico, it is very hard to know when supplies will once again reach the island. Ideally, we would like to fix our generator and surgical table immediately. But communications are very compromised and transportation is difficult. There is also a gas shortage. We would like to purchase a new refrigerator ASAP so we can store vaccines, but most of the stores are closed now. We hope to be able to make these repairs and purchases in the next couple of weeks; same with the van. As for providing care to the animals, we would keep this going as long as we have funding.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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‘Picking Up the Pieces from Hurricane Irma’

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Cookie is at the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

We’re sending three new grants to Florida shelters to help them recover from Hurricane Irma:

Humane Society of Greater Miami: $10,000

“Our shelter is still picking up the pieces left behind by Hurricane Irma,” Senior Director of Development Ronald Stayton says. “We estimate that we suffered more than $400,000 in losses and costs associated with downtime. When we first lost power, the chiller could not handle the load and we lost air conditioning in all but one area of the shelter, and our A/C compressors blew. We had to move all animals from affected parts of the shelter and from our separate intake/quarantine building into the main shelter where the A/C was working. As a result of moving sick animals to the main building, we are currently experiencing a spread of the illnesses that were in that building, primarily upper-respiratory infection. We anticipated this and had ordered medications as a precautionary measure.”

The adoption center, which is home to 180 cats and 139 dogs, also had several leaks in its roof from the severe beating it got from the storm, and the community spay/neuter clinic also experienced roof damage and has several leaks.

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Damaged air-conditioning ductword at SAFE Animal Shelter

SAFE Animal Shelter: $10,000

Sherry Mansfield, executive director of the Middleburg, FL, shelter, says: “We were badly flooded during Hurricane Irma and have to replace the infrastructure, including all equipment, appliances, drywall, furniture, air conditioning and ductwork, etc. We still have more than 40 cats and kittens and six dogs. We have received many donations from the community but right now we need funding to help get the shelter operational. We have much to do inside the building.”

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Calla is at Humane Society of Manatee County.

Humane Society of Manatee County: $2,000

“Hurricane Irma destroyed two structures we highly depend on,” says Valerie Bliss, director of development at the Bradenton shelter. “One of the structures is a storage shed for all of our lawn-maintenance equipment. Sadly, first the shed was robbed the day after the hurricane, and then a very large tree branch came down and crushed it. Irma also destroyed a shed where we kept clean towels, beds and sheets for our shelter animals. Cleanliness and comfort are top priorities for the care of our shelter residents. Our shelter is at capacity, so storage is virtually nonexistent. Temporarily, volunteers are taking loads of laundry home to clean for us. The downside to this is the fact that we are dependent on them to return the clean laundry as soon as possible, coupled with the fact that our industrial machines are set up for the highest sanitary standards as set by hospitals.” Grant funds will go toward replacing the sheds.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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Helping Florida Shelters Rebuild After Irma

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Horses at F.R.I.E.N.D.S. immediately after Hurricane Irma

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse Rescue & Sanctuary: $2,000

“While we did not get a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, we did suffer severe damages and losses by the rain and heavy winds that came with her,” says Debra Beye Barwick, director of the Fort Lauderdale rescue. “We are asking for your help in funding for a new water pump and a new 40′ dry cargo container, as ours were damaged. We also lost four 18′ x 21′ shelters that were in our turn-out areas and in the pasture. Our long term needs: to get the fallen trees off our fences, to replace the fences with corral panels, and to bring 25 loads of clean white fill to help with the footing for the horses and their caretakers.”

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Two Cat Depot residents wait out the storm.

Cat Depot: $1,000

“Before, during, and after Hurricane Irma, our staff has worked literally day and night with hurricane preparedness, evacuating cats from other organizations to us, caring for all the cats during the storm, and cleaning up the facility after the storm,” says Maria Sadowski, communications specialist at the Sarasota shelter. “Naturally, we need to compensate everyone fairly for their efforts, and are now trying to get this money refunded so it doesn’t have to be taken out of the regular budget for the cats.” The shelter’s total cost for 85.71 overtime hours is $1895.45.

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A cat rescued by Humane Society of Highlands County after being outside during Irma.

Humane Society of Highlands County: $2,000

“We had many kennels crushed by trees on our property,” says Cindy Dutton, volunteer coordinator at the Sebring shelter. “Thankfully, no dogs were killed or injured.” Grant funds will help offset the cost of new kennels, fencing repair and replacement, and tree removal and trimming.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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A Rescue Group Struggling to Save Puerto Rico’s Strays

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Lucky was rescued by Paws4Survival from a popular dog-dumping spot at the edge of a rainforest in Puerto Rico. She will be transported to the U.S. for adoption once flights resume.

Paws4Survival: $3,000

Even before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, the island was home to thousands of homeless dogs and cats. Since 2015, Randolph, MA-based Paws4Survival has been working to rescue many of those pets, place them in local foster homes for extensive vetting, and transport them to Massachusetts and New York to be adopted.

As one could imagine, the organization’s efforts have been dramatically impacted by Maria, which effectively destroyed the island’s power grid. “We have 50 cats and dogs in Puerto Rico now that are without food and water,” says Paws4Survival President Nicole DiPaolo. “Our foster homes have no electricity or running water and barely any means to care for the animals. All homes with fences have been decimated. We have shipped 1,100 lbs. of supplies via Amerijet this week. Each week we will send another shipping container. Fosters cannot travel to the vet or stores, as gas lines are eight hours long and only cash is accepted.”

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Paws4Survival writes on its Facebook page: “Praying for Puerto Rico. This photo came to us from Guaynabo, the town where we found many dogs, like Lorenzo and Valencia. There are no words.”

“Our rescue efforts are at a halt,” DiPaolo says. “There is an embargo on animals flying off the island, so we cannot fly dogs out, resulting in higher boarding expenses. Our foster homes lost fences, so dogs and cats are now in crates and the dogs are unable to go outside unless on leashed walks. Food and water need to be shipped in, with only one airline flying supplies at a commercial rate of $749 per week for 1,100 lbs. of supplies. We are unable to rescue additional animals without added boarding fees, and have no end in sight.

“The dire situation gets worse for our foster families as the days go on. We will use the grant money to rescue dogs that survived Hurricane Maria and place them in boarding, fix our foster homes’ fences so the dogs are not contained in crates but back in yards, and to offset the costs of shipping food and supplies until business resumes in Puerto Rico. Just today, PetSmart opened for one hour and then closed to the public. Costco was open for five hours, but dog food ran out.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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More Irma Recovery Grants

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A family of volunteers takes a dog home to foster as Humane Society of Pinellas evacuates all its pets in advance of Hurricane Irma

The Petfinder Foundation has approved four new grants to help Florida shelters impacted by Hurricane Irma. They are:

Humane Society of Pinellas: $3,000

“Hurricane Irma negatively affected our facility in several ways,” says Grant Writer Grace Alfiero. “Because our region lost power for over six days, our refrigerators that stored all the pet medications, including vaccines, were not operable and now we need to replace all the medications and foster supplies. Our facility also suffered some structural damage and we will need to hire a professional contractor to make repairs in our cat isolation room, and with our aluminum overhangs and gutters.

“Specifically, here are our biggest needs, all are immediate needs:
1. Replace the roof damage in our Cat Isolation area so that we can continue to provide quality rehabilitative medical care and save lives.
2. Replace and purchase critical medical supplies, vaccines and prescription food lost during the power outage
3. Fund important landscaping work and trim trees to prevent future damage.
4. Repair aluminum overhangs, gutters and siding blown away during Irma’s high winds.
5. Replace items used to supply our 200+ emergency foster homes caring for the animals during and after the storm (crates, food, kitty litter, blankets and more).

“We project that all repairs will be made as soon as possible and hopefully before November 1, 2017, so that business operations can go back to normal.”

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Damage at Humane Society of Pinellas

 

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A cat who survived Hurricane Irma at Halifax Humane Society

Halifax Humane Society, Inc.: $3,000

Lisa Pearce, Grants Administrator, says: “Our goal is to save as many animals as possible in the Hurricane Irma aftermath. Our objective is to create a ‘rescue corridor’ up the East Coast and fast track animals as quickly as possible through multiple placement partners. Prior to Hurricane Irma reaching landfall, we rescued 111 dogs and cats from at-risk shelters and evacuated 159 animals out of harm’s way. Crates are in high demand.”

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Halifax Humane Society resident Prince, who was in a foster home during Irma, has been adopted!

Shih Tzu Rescue: $1,000

“Following Irma, our beautiful campus, which is home to about 70 companion dogs of all breeds and sizes, was terribly damaged,” says Stephanie Hochberger, who is on the board of the Davie, FL, organization. “Almost every tree on our 3.5-acre campus was uprooted and smashed much of our fencing. Parts of our roof are leaking badly from the water and wind. We are so grateful none of our dogs were injured as a result of the storm — they were never left alone for a second during Irma.”

Although the group prepared as best it could before the storm by putting up shutters and cutting back the trees, the trees were completely knocked over, and large equipment will be required to help clear the root systems of these decades-old trees. The fences, which provide safety from the main road and allow the dogs to be let outside in cycles, need to be replaced. And the shelter’s roof needs to be replaced or repaired before any more rain arrives.

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Downed trees destroyed fencing at Shih Tzu Rescue in Davie, FL.

 

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Zeus Jr. is one of the pets at Ayala’s Acres

Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue: $1,000

“Our animals in St. Johns County are in foster homes,” says Joan Guglielmo, director of operations at the St. Augustine, FL, sanctuary. “Because of Hurricane Irma, we are getting daily calls from pet owners who have been made homeless by the storm. Many of the people are unable to take their pets with them to temporary lodging. Ayla’s Acres would like to be able to provide boarding assistance for their pets in order to keep their dogs and cats from being permanently surrendered. The majority of people and their pets need short-term assistance.”

Guglielmo says the average cost to stay at a boarding facility is $30 per animal per day with a rescue-group discount, so our $1,000 grant will allow Ayla’s Acres to provide more than a month of boarding days. Guglielmo anticipates the average stay will be seven days. “We constantly work toward adding more foster families,” she says, “but the need for assistance for temporary boarding is paramount.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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We’re Continuing to Aid in Harvey Recovery

Libby is one of the dogs at Hardin County Pit Bull Rescue.

The Petfinder Foundation has given two new grants to help shelters affected by Hurricane Harvey recover. They are:

Hardin County Pit Bull Rescue: $2,000

The Batson, Texas, rescue group “sustained damage both inside our facility and out from Hurricane Harvey,” says Executive Director Jacquelynn Jackson. “We received almost 4′ of torrential rainfall, which caused major leaks in the roof of the building our dogs are housed in, resulting in partial ceiling collapse and water damage to floors, bottoms of walls, dog food and crates. We now have mold and mildew growing. We need to immediately purchase a portable building large enough to safely house our dogs until the damaged building can be repaired and sanitized.” Once the repairs are finished and the dogs are transferred back to the original building, the new structure will be used as quarantine housing for dogs displaced by the hurricane.

The other issue needing immediate attention is play yard fencing. “While our building was on higher ground and was not directly affected by actual rising flood water, our kennel and play yard area was,” Jackson says. “We lost over 100′ of fence to rushing flood water. Currently, our dogs do not have a secure place to play while outside together until we are able to repair and replace the fencing.”

Grant funds will be put toward the purchase of a portable building, fence replacement and repair, and dog bedding replacement, and will impact the 25 currently living at the facility and an additional 20 that the shelter will take in after repairs are made and the new space becomes available.

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Six-week-old puppies rescued from Harvey by Cuz I Matter Animal Rescue

Cuz I Matter Animal Rescue, Inc.: $500

The Pflugerville, Texas-based rescue group requested funds “to help with the medical costs associated with the 15 dogs that we took in from Robstown Animal Shelter and Neuces County Animal Shelter who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” says Treasurer Donna Hopsoon. “Of the 15 dogs that we brought into our rescue, four were found to be heartworm-positive and two tested positive for parvo.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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