Animal rescue after Hurricane Harvey
Best Friends is in Texas working around the clock to help pets in harm’s way after Hurricane Harvey devastated huge areas of Houston and surrounding areas. Shortly after the storm hit, volunteers and staff arrived in the area, set up a base of operations and began tapping into the Best Friends Network. For a disaster of this size, the animals need all the help they can get, and help is pouring in.
More than 800 dogs and cats have already come through the Montgomery County Fairgrounds outside of Houston, where Best Friends Animal Society and the Montgomery County Animal Shelter have established the Rescue and Reunite Center to take in pets displaced by the storm. As a result, pets rescued from flooded homes or picked up as strays are not only safe, but we’re doing everything we can to reunite them with their families.
Meanwhile, we’re working with Austin Pets Alive to move animals out of flooded shelters in the area and quickly get them to safety in shelters and rescues across the country. Our network partners are eager to help find new homes for these pets who were already in shelters before the storm.
Here are just a few highlights of what has already taken place so far, as the relief efforts are just beginning.
1. While the Best Friends emergency response team headed toward floodwaters, another group of staff helped Austin Pets Alive, a Best Friends network partner organization, which was busy taking in animals from Houston shelters. Here, Best Friends staff member Matt Fisher introduces puppy, Paige, to her new foster family.
2. Volunteers at Austin Pets Alive care for cats pulled from Houston shelters.
3. Best Friends emergency response team on the water, searching for stranded animals
4. Best Friends staff member Craig Lalonde helps clean crates to be used to safely move animals from a Houston-area shelter facing evacuation.
5. John Garcia comforts a pregnant German shepherd displaced by the hurricane.
6. Staff and volunteers set up the Rescue and Reunite Center, as animals begin to arrive.
7. Staff member Marc Peralta visits a man with Alzheimer's who has been coming back-and-forth with his family to visit his cherished two dogs at the Rescue and Reunite Center, a partnership with Montgomery County Animal Shelter.
8. These cats know they're safe and sound at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
9. Suki was one of the first animals to be reunited with her owner, Sara Shuert, at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
10. Travis, a volunteer vet tech from New York City, gives a puppy some love at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
11. Volunteer vet Dr. J and vet tech Kendra check out a young puppy at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
12. Mountains of donations have poured into the Rescue and Reunite Center.
13. Best Friends staff member Mike Bzdewka snuggles a cat at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
14. Miguel and Margarita Melendez are reunited with their dog, Precious, at the Rescue and Reunite Center.
15. Best Friends staff member Tierney Sain with Baby
Special thanks to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and Montgomery County Fairgrounds for welcoming and hosting Best Friends, our partners and volunteers.