With Texas and Oklahoma battling deadly floods, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to animal shelters and rescue groups to help save the lives of pets in the affected regions.
Here are just a few of the ways we’re helping:
Caring for Evacuees’ Pets
The staff of just five people at the Humane Society of Wichita County in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been working around the clock to care for the pets of families who’ve had to evacuate — and the shelter desperately needed funds to pay for staff overtime and extra utilities (the Petfinder Foundation is one of the few national organizations that gives cash grants to pay staff for overtime hours during times of disaster).
“We started taking in evacuees’ animals at 11 p.m. Wednesday night [May 20],” shelter Director Cheryl Miller tells us. “As the days went on and the city zoned more areas for flooding, we took in as many as we could house. We wanted to be here for our community if and when it needed us, so we kept the shelter open and are having to pay the staff overtime.”
H.S. Wichita County, which usually houses 70 animals, has already taken in an additional 51 dogs and cats. The shelter is strictly donor-funded, and our grant of $2,000 will help cover the costs of staff overtime and additional water and electric bills.
Repairing Flooded Kennels
The storms and flooding in Central Texas caused major damage to Etosha Rescue & Adoption Center in Seguin, Texas. Assistant Director Julie Mitchell tells us, “Our kennels are flooded with six inches of water. Wind damage destroyed several outdoor kennels, the two main gates to the facility, windows in the main building, and a window a/c unit for the indoor dogs. We need loads of sand or gravel to raise the ground level in the outdoor kennels, tarps for shelter, mosquito spray, flea shampoo, paper towels, sheets and blankets for dry bedding, other dog supplies, a new a/c unit, and window replacements.”
With help from our $2,000 grant, the shelter “will safely rebuild the kennels for the outdoor dogs, raise the ground level so the dogs will be dry, secure the facility again with new front gates, treat all dogs for flea infestation, and provide cooling for the indoor dogs,” Mitchell says. “We hope to restore the facility to ensure safety and good living conditions for our dogs, safe from standing water, heat, and flea infestation.”
Feeding Hungry Horses
One surprising result of the floods has been a hardship in acquiring much-needed hay for horses. Cheri White Owl, president of Horse Feathers Equine Center in Guthrie, Okla., tells us, “Hay costs have risen due to our having to secure sources outside of our normal ones. Flooding has delayed hay cutting and production; some suppliers have lost hay due to flooding. We are having to go to higher-priced suppliers to meet our needs.”
Our grant of $1,500 will provide Horse Feathers’ rescued horses with 25 high-quality bales of hay. “This will allow us to continue feeding the horses and maintaining their body weight and health,” White Owl says, which is critical to both horses waiting to be adopted and those who are lifelong sanctuary residents.
Protecting Outdoor Dogs
An outdoor-only facility, Heart of Texas SPCA in San Antonio suffered damage to its kennels from high winds and heavy rain, including broken kennel frames, ripped tarps and flooding.
Director Paula Oberle tells us, “Many of the dogs who lost their canopy coverage were standing in mud and water with nowhere to go. We did manage to bring a few inside until the water receded, but more rain is coming. We need new canopies as soon as possible.”
With our $1,000 grant, Heart of Texas “will purchase the heavy-duty canopies and set them up ASAP to protect the dogs,” Oberle says.
Keeping Momma Dogs and Puppies Safe
Missy’s Haven Canine Rescue in San Antonio received heavy winds, rain and lightning, and suffered damage to fencing used to keep the dogs contained, water damage to a food-storage building and the loss of an air-conditioning unit due to power surge. Our $2,000 grant will allow the group to “rebuild the containment area and provide a/c to our building for moms and babies,” says President Michelle Holmes.
Replacing Ruined Dog Food
The only building damaged by flooding at OK Save a Dog in Prague, Okla., was the one that stored all the food. Our $1,000 grant will help the organization purchase a month’s worth of food as well as a secure building in which to store it.
Boarding Pets After a Foster Home is Destroyed
A foster home housing pets for Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions in San Antonio was severely flooded, meaning its human residents and 25 dogs and cats had to evacuate, with the pets going to a boarding facility until the damage is repaired.
“The pets’ location was flooded with four feet of water,” Director Tonette Webb says, “causing extensive damage to floors, walls and kennels. Mud is covering the floors now and all will need to be disinfected, cleaned and replaced before the pets can come back here. All adoptable pets are in a fee-based boarding facility until then. The estimate for boarding time is two weeks, depending on clean-up.”
Our $2,000 grant will help pay for the boarding as well as clean-up of the pets’ living space. “We will save our adoptable pets, safe now in boarding, and clean their kennels and replace beds and food,” Webb says.