Hurricane Harvey drenched Houston and other parts of Texas with up to 50 inches of rain this weekend, leaving 13 people dead and thousands displaced, with no end in sight. Animals have been suffering along with people, and the Petfinder Foundation is rushing grants to organizations that are housing evacuees’ pets; to ones that have taken in pets from flooded shelters; and to those whose own facilities have been flooded, forcing them to move their adoptable pets into boarding or foster care.
Our Disaster Grant application is still open and we anticipate receiving many more requests for funds as adoption groups move out of triage mode and are able to assess their needs. We also expect requests from horse- and farm-animal-rescue organizations, as large animals are generally not able to be evacuated, and local hay supplies are often destroyed during flooding, making feed much more expensive.
Below is a list of grants we have sent out to date:
Austin Pets Alive!: $2,500
“Ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, shelters in the path of the storm began clearing their cages,” says Development Director Maggie Lynch. “Austin Pets Alive! has been fielding dozens of calls for help. In response we have sent our own vans with staff and volunteers and coordinated other transport down into the coastal areas of Texas to pick up animals that would otherwise be euthanized or left behind, alone and in danger.” As of Saturday morning, APA! had transported 330 animals to its shelter and was expecting at least another 50-100 over the next 24 hours.
“While we can call on our community for supplies and fosters, we are facing a huge medical expense,” Lynch says. “Nearly every shelter from which we have taken pets does not vaccinate, microchip or even treat the medical issues of their vets. All of [the pets transported in] will need full intake vetting (all vaccines, heartworm tests, FIV/FeLV tests, dewormer, flea medications, microchips, and later spay/neuter surgery). Many are sick and need medical care, and some are pregnant.” Grant funds from the Petfinder Foundation will be spent on vaccines, medications and medical supplies, as well as to cover the extra staff time needed to intake pets and coordinate foster care and shelter care.
Bark and Roll Rescue Companions: $3,000
“We have been asked to take in 25-30 additional dogs, doubling our average monthly intake, from [open-admission] rural shelters in Southwest Louisiana that have flooded, as well as from [open-admission] shelters in the Houston area,” says President Dana Kahn. “We will need funds to transport these dogs to safety with us, and to care for them as many have extensive medical needs: mange, cherry eyes, heartworm, malnutrition, dental disease. In addition, they will need normal vetting (microchip, spay/neuter, vaccinations, vet exams, dewormer, heartworm prevention) to ready them for adoption.”
Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions: $3,000
“Hurricane Harvey has displaced all of our animals from their regular PetSmart kennel locations,” says Director Tonette Webb. “The cats’ foster locations have flooded and have no electricity. The cats are being boarded at paid kennels. The dogs have been placed in foster homes and at paid veterinarians’ offices. This is a huge monetary burden Tejas never has to deal with. We have limited funds, and with our regular adoptions suspended indefinitely, no way to make up the money.” Grant funds will be used to cover food and boarding costs for the group’s displaced adoptable pets.
Zeus’ Rescues: $2,500
On Friday, Development Director Kellie Grengs told us: “As we are on the eve of Hurricane Harvey, we are hearing the calls for action from shelters in the path of the storm. If they cannot evacuate the animals, they will euthanize them. All of the Louisiana shelters are at maximum capacity and have been all summer. We have committed to taking 25 dogs from St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue. After the Baton Rouge floods in 2017, our rescue took in more than 300 animals. We are seeking funding to support the care of 25+ dogs.”
The shelter ended up taking more than 70 dogs from St. Landry Parish. Funds will be used for their medical treatment and care prior to adoption; many are heartworm-positive and in need of spay/neuter, microchips, and full vaccinations.
4 Paws Farm, Inc.: $3,000
The Hempstead, Texas, rescue group is taking in pets dislocated by flooding caused by the outer bands of the storm. “Many people take in dogs after a flood but can’t keep them so they dump them in the country,” 4 Paws CFO Harry Stoorza says. “These dogs require extra time in finding their owners. Almost none are returned. Plus, the dogs require full medical attention with longer-than-usual recovery time. And their behavioral issues also require longer therapy times.” Funds will be used for trauma care, spay/neuter, vaccinations and food.