Submitted by Humane Society for Southwest Washington
To keep pets near their owners in southeast Texas regions wracked by disastrous flooding, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW) today accepted 10 dogs who were available for adoption at animal shelters before Hurricane Harvey struck. Freeing up shelter space in Texas gives displaced animals a safe haven while their owners stay in nearby venues that house people.
“We understand the incredible bonds forged between people and their pets, and we’re grateful that our work means that lost pets and those separated by the storms have a better chance of finding their families in Texas during this devastating time,” says Stacey Graham, President of HSSW. “We welcome these shelter dogs who awaited adoption in the south, and we’re excited to help them ultimately find homes here.”
A plane piloted by Wings of Rescue touched down today in Hillsboro, Oregon, escorting the dogs into HSSW’s care. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is coordinating the effort to transfer shelter animals into adoption centers across the nation, making room to house owned and injured animals in states under siege by record-breaking rains and flooding.
Future plans for HSSW to receive additional shelter pets are in discussion, and the local agency is committed to offering long-term help as rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of the storm.
HSSW has a proud history of assistance when emergencies strike. “During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we took in animals from distressed regions,” recalls Graham. “We’re dedicated to animal welfare everywhere and to helping our shelter partners and community partners protect and care for the animals – particularly in times of crisis.”
The 10 Texas dogs will find accommodation, high-quality care, and medical attention at HSSW as the nonprofit seeks to find them permanent homes. The dogs will become available for adoption as soon as they have gone through the regular admission process, including medical and behavioral testing. The Texas dogs will have a special sign on their kennels and be identified as “special guests” on the adoptable dogs’ page of the website.
To view adoptable dogs, go to https://southwesthumane.org/adopt/dogs
Hurricane Harvey dropped trillions of gallons of water on Texas. The Category 4 event inundated Southeast Texas cities with epic rainfall and severe flooding, which decimated homes and displaced tens of thousands of residents and their pets. After Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues specific guidelines that take pets into consideration in evacuation plans and response plans. HSSW’s acceptance of the 10 shelter dogs supports these guidelines and emergency efforts as rescued owned animals need places to stay until they can be permanently reunited with their owners.
Wings of Rescue is a California-based nonprofit that regularly transports dogs and cats from overcrowded shelters from around the country and beyond to Pacific Northwest shelters. HSSW receives at least two transports each month of 10 to 25 pets from Wings of Rescue, at no cost to the shelter.