Following Hurricane Harvey, thousands are still without homes after the storms. The recovery efforts are going strong and will remain so for weeks to come.
Many of those abandoned and left homeless during the storm are perhaps the least expected: pets.
Thanks to the efforts of Animal Rescue Corps, a national animal rescue group, 156 pets were saved during the aftermath of the hurricane.
“We have hundreds of volunteers helping,” says Michael Cunningham, public information officer for Animal Rescue Corps. “We generally have 20-25 volunteers per shift daily.”
Cunningham shares that due to a generous sponsor, ARC has a permanent shelter located in Lebanon that serves as the Rescue Operations Center. This is where animals go in the midst of a disaster. During Hurricane Harvey, floodwaters reached seven different animal shelters in the affected region. Currently, the saved animals are housed at the Lebanon shelter waiting to find their adopted homes throughout the country.
“We have a network of placement partners around the country who find homes for the animals we rescue,” Cunningham says. “We spread the animals across several states so that we don’t saturate any particular area.”
Cunningham says the 113 rescued dogs and 43 rescued cats will be moved to their placement partners this week. After settling in, the ARC Facebook group will publish the partners’ information and available pets. Those interested in adopting can contact the placement partners directly to take in their new pet.
ARC also prepared for Hurricane Irma and the animals who will need them.
“It will be the same type of support,” Cunningham says. “Remove the homeless animals already in the shelter system so that room can be made for the companion animals displaced by the hurricane.”
In the meantime, the evacuated Texas animal shelters will use this time to rebuild their facilities, all of which were damaged by floodwaters. The cleared shelters also allow animals recently displaced by Hurricane Harvey a place to go until they can be reunited with their families.
ARC is in need of support, in both the form of volunteers and donations. For more information, visit their Facebook page. They also have a wishlist available on Amazon.