Renee Zellweger was born and raised in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston, so when Hurricane Harvey hit, she knew she wanted to do more for her hometown than just send money. So she quietly flew out to Texas and spent a week volunteering for Austin Pets Alive and Houston Pets Alive.
Zellweger told ABC13:
“I’m a Texan and I just wanted to find a place where I could contribute. It didn’t feel right to just send a donation. That works and everything but I’m from here so it didn’t feel right to just stay home and not be part of a team.”
Houston Pets Alive doesn’t usually run a physical shelter. They rescue dogs from high-kill shelters who are then placed with foster families until they find their forever homes. After Hurricane Harvey struck, the nonprofit organization set up temporary shelters to help handle the massive influx of dogs brought in before, during, and after the hurricane hit. More than 100 volunteers a day are required to keep the temporary shelters running.
Houston Pets Alive is now trying to raise $4.5 million in order to build a permanent shelter with the goal of making Houston a no-kill city. In the meantime, at least 70 dogs and cats have been sent from Houston to California for a better chance at finding homes. Zellweger herself flew 8 dogs back to Los Angeles with her to find fabulous “fur”ever homes.