While it’s been days since Hurricane Harvey first made landfall in Texas, the people and animals that call the state home are still battling the devastating effects. Streets and homes are flooded, and areas previously thought to be safe are being evacuated. As people flee their homes, there are countless animals in need of help. There are pets being separated from their owners and strays with nowhere to go. Even if you don’t live in Texas, there are ways you can support the relief effort. Here are a few things you can do to help the displaced animals no matter where you live.
# 1- Donate Through Greater Good
iHeartdogs has teamed up with Greater Good to bring immediate relief to the people and pets in Texas. They’re working with groups on the ground in the areas with the highest floodwaters, but they need urgent help to reach as many people and animals as possible. When you make a donation at greatergood.org, 100% will go to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
#2 – Find a Shelter in Need and Donate
While many animal shelters in the storm’s direct path evacuated their animals ahead of time, their facilities have endured extensive damage. There will be no specific word on what the damage looks like until after the floodwaters recede, but they’ll need all the support they can get to handle repairs quickly and get back to work. The influx of displaced dogs won’t stop when the sun comes out, and they’ll need to be operating at full capacity to take in as many as possible. The SPCA of Texas, Houston Humane Society, BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions, and Rescued Pets Movement are only a few of the Texas shelters in need of monetary donations.
#3- Take Advantage of Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have reunited families with lost pets and helped spread the word about urgent situations faster than any other media source. Social media has proven to be an essential part of hurricane relief, and you can use it to do your part. Simply sharing posts by shelters and rescue organizations who need help will make a difference. Facebook also has a feature that allows you to raise money for specific organizations. Turn your post into a fundraiser or visit a shelter’s Facebook page and click the word “donate” located under the cover image.
#4 – Become a Foster
With Texas shelters underwater, rescuers need to get the displaced dogs and cats to safety. They’re being transported to other areas in Texas, and more animals are being sent out of state. An animal shelter in New Jersey has taken in more than a dozen dogs and cats rescued during the storm, and they’re expected to get 60 more within the week. Shelters across the country will be taking in Texas animals, and they’ll need foster families to give them temporary reprieve. Contact a shelter near you to learn how to become a foster.
#5 – Adopt, Don’t Shop
It will be weeks until the Gulf Coast recovers, and Harvey’s aftermath will leave thousands of animals without homes. Some pet owners will be forced to surrender their animals because their homes were destroyed, and kennels will be overfilled with both former pets and strays. One of the biggest ways you can help relieve the pressure put on rescue shelters is to adopt an animal rather than buy from a breeder. Shelters only have so much space, and their resources will quickly dwindle. When you adopt, you not only rescue that one animal, but you also make room at the shelter for more innocent lives.
Featured Image Source: Facebook/Dallas DogRRR