Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) couldn’t have saved 220 pets ahead of Hurricane Harvey from shelters in the storm’s immediate path, and hundreds more in the weeks that followed, without the support of donors like GreaterGood.org, the local Austin community, and so many willing volunteers in the Houston area. As soon as APA! realized it would need space for homeless cats and dogs put at risk by Hurricane Harvey, we put out the call in Austin for fosters and volunteers.
People lined up to foster pets already at our shelter to make room for those incoming, while others dropped off crates and supply donations, and still others volunteered to help with pet transport and setting up an emergency shelter. With the aid of new and existing volunteers, we were able to transform an old barn at our headquarters into a useable emergency shelter in almost no time.
Then, after a donor provided a space in north Austin, volunteers stepped up to help us quickly transform the empty space into a fully functioning temporary shelter, where incoming pets could be housed, cared for, and receive intake exams and medical treatment. People of all ages and backgrounds volunteered to transport and foster pets and to help with pet intake, donation sorting, cleaning, walking dogs and feeding pets. Additionally, volunteer vets and vet techs assisted APA!’s medical clinic by providing intake exams, vaccines and emergency medical care.
Pets who were afraid and traumatized by the hurricane and flooding found comfort in the arms of APA! volunteers. In just one month, we had more than 8,700 volunteer hours logged, and gained 2,000 new volunteers. Also, the number of cats and dogs in APA! foster homes doubled and tripled, respectively.
The cash grant from GreaterGood.org enabled APA! volunteers and staff to provide necessary intake vetting to the 220 homeless pets APA! transported to safety ahead of Hurricane Harvey. This intake vetting was crucial for APA! to ensure the animals’ well-being and prevent the spread of disease in APA!’s emergency shelters.
Thanks to the hard work of our staff and volunteers, paired with GreaterGood.org’s financial support, hundreds of homeless cats and dogs that were at risk of euthanasia or drowning in the wake of Hurricane Harvey are now safe from harm and ready for forever families.