We’ve sent another disaster grant to help a Texas shelter recover from last month’s devastating winter storm. At Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, most of the dogs are housed outdoors, taking advantage of the generally warm climate of the southern tip of Texas.
“When the forecast made it clear that we were going to see several days of below-freezing temperatures, we rushed to get our outdoor animals into foster homes,” says Executive Director Donna Casamento. “In little more than a day, we were able to get more than 100 dogs into foster homes and out of the cold. However, that still left approximately 300 dogs who needed bedding, straw, and wind-blocks to protect them from the intense cold.”
The shelter also asked for donations of blankets, dog coats, straw, and other bedding, and purchased tarps to wrap the outsides of its kennel buildings. It bought two additional heaters and kerosene to keep them running, and staff worked 150 hours of overtime to make sure that the animals had extra food for energy and access to water that wasn’t frozen.
However, the shelter still incurred damages, from the easily fixable (frozen hoses) to a failed compressor that cost $3,000 to repair. Pipes froze and water lines burst, causing the shelter to go days without running water. Once the water was running again, it was not potable, and the shelter continued to rely on bottled water.
“Once our utilities returned, we opened for normal operations, and we received a flood of animals, with our dog intake increasing 28% from the week prior to the storm,” Casamento says. “We have already sent more than 100 dogs to partners across the United States [and] hope to add several more large transports out of the region, as our numbers are still far too high for our community to manage.”
Our Disaster Grant will help the shelter cover repair costs, staff overtime, and the transport of animals to partner shelters.