How to Best Help Pets in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey
My heart has been aching as the news shares the destruction of Hurricane Harvey and his floods. I'm especially terrified for the pets who are chained in backyards and kennels, as they have literally no chance of surviving. But there are plenty of responsibly-owned pets at risk as well.
Today I wanted to share that Janery is donating all profits from sales (today through Sunday, 9/3/17) to help animals affected by Hurricane Harvey.
But there's more important info to share as well:
When a natural disaster hits, pets are often in as much danger - if not more danger - as people. Here’s how you can help the animals affected by Hurricane Harvey.
After the floods have receded, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of more displaced and homeless pets flooding the shelters. When people flee, pets are often left behind. I can’t fathom ever doing that, but I’ve thankfully never been in that situation. During Hurricane Katrina, for example, emergency shelters wouldn’t accept pets.
What should you donate?
- Money of any amount is the most valuable donation you can make to a rescue group, especially when weather conditions can’t guarantee mail delivery. Money will buy exactly what they need.
- Digital gift cards.
- Physical items can help, but keep in mind that shelters often run out of space. like leashes, crates, food, bedding, etc can be helpful - but be sure to check the rescue group’s specific “wish list” before sending items. During emergencies, organizations often run out of storage space due to physical item donations of well-meaning people.
Where should you donate?*
I researched a lot of options before coming up with this list.
Houston Humane Society - This well-rated, local organization is working in the eye of the storm. Literally. Their need for help will continue far past the week of the storm.
Austin Pets Alive! - This Austin, TX nonprofit is taking a lot of the dogs rescued from the hurricane.
Dallas DogRRR - This group is 100% volunteer-run, meaning all donations go straight to helping animals. They’re actively helping to rescue dozens of animals outside Houston who were flooded when a Houston dam was opened on Monday.
Wings of Rescue - Volunteer pilots are flying hundreds of dogs out of flood-ravaged Texas and Louisiana. This is an amazing, new-to-me organization that I'm happy to support.
Lost Dog Rescue Foundation - Local to me in Northern Virginia, this small but mighty organization is partnering with Austin Pets Alive! to take pets from Texas.
The Humane Society of the United States - This is a reputable national charity, though it has lower financial ratings than Houston Humane. They have been working with local animal rescues in the Houston area since before the hurricane hit, trying to get ahead of the situation.
You can help people, too:
Not all charities are created equal. Some manage their money better than others, and Charity Navigator does a good job of rating them. They have a page with guidance about helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
If you can’t contribute financially, but still want to do something - check with your local animal rescue organizations. They may be planning to help relieve the load on Houston-area shelters by transporting some shelter pets to your home state.
- Open your home and foster a cat or dog temporarily.
- Donate food, supplies, crates, and other items like used bedding and towels.
- Volunteer to walk dogs in shelters to keep them socialized?
- If you’re a photographer, offer to photograph the pets - with social media, there is power in a great photo.
Yesterday a few heartbreaking images spread like wildfire on social media. Dogs and cats were trapped in flooded kennels at a remote rescue 60 miles northeast of Houston. I saw conflicting information about who to donate to, so I took time this morning to try and track down the chain of command.
The dogs appear to be housed 60 miles northeast of Houston in the Tall Tails Rescue kennels. Dallas DogRRR and New York’s Second Chance Rescue appear to be partners of Tall Tails. Both Dallas and NY are looking for foster families.
What We’re Doing:
Janery is donating all profits (from sales made now through Sunday 9/3/2017) to the animal rescue organizations listed above.
After that date, we’ll be working to implement a longer term, more sustainable strategy to continue to help all the pets affected.