Update: The ASPCA Responds to Harvey

September 3, 2017

aspca responder with rescued dog
Latest Update: September 8, 2017, 1:48 PM ET

At the request of the SPCA of Texas, the ASPCA has deployed a team of professional responders to provide sheltering support and daily care for more than 150 animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey at an emergency shelter established by the SPCA of Texas in Dallas. The shelter is expecting to receive approximately 250 more animals from transports by the end of this week, bringing the total shelter population to nearly 400 animals.

All of the animals at this shelter are owned pets, and the vast majority arrived with their owners, who are just blocks away at a nearby emergency shelter. Sheltering pets as close as possible to their owners allows for them to visit, and will make it easier for evacuees to pick up their pets when they’re ready to move on.

“We’re thankful to be working with the ASPCA to provide exceptional care for all pets at the emergency animal shelter, as the responsibility of caring for evacuees’ best friends and family members is of paramount importance. Seeing the tears of joy and hearing the happy barks and purrs is humbling, and keeping people and pets together as a family through this disaster fulfills our mission,“ says James Bias, President and CEO of the SPCA of Texas.

Any evacuees affected by the hurricane and flooding on the Gulf Coast who need assistance with their pets should contact the SPCA of Texas by calling (214) 742-SPCA (7722).

September 5, 2017, 5:06 PM ET

Through a State of Texas Assistance Request, the ASPCA disaster response team has deployed to conduct water and land rescues in Hardin County, Texas. In addition to the animal rescue efforts, we will also establish and manage an emergency shelter for displaced animal victims, located at Sour Lake Elementary School. There, we will provide ongoing care for the animals rescued in the community until they can be reunited with their families. 

“Our responders have been in the field rescuing dogs, cats, and birds, and bringing them back to safety,” says Tim Rickey, Vice President of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We are encouraged to see so many pets already being reunited with their families. The ASPCA will continue to respond to incoming requests to help pet owners locate their lost pets, provide those pets with the care they need and do everything we can to reunite them with their owners.”

The ASPCA has assisted in the relocation of hundreds of shelter animals—including a transport of 41 animals from Houston, 20 of which arrived at the ASPCA Adoption Center last night. We continue to work in support of the Houston SPCA, as the need for search-and-rescue, sheltering and additional resources continues in the Harvey-impacted areas. 

Residents who need assistance with recovering a pet from their home or temporary sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact their local emergency management agency.

September 3, 2017, 6:00 PM ET

The ASPCA disaster response team remains on the ground in parts of Texas and Louisiana continuing our rescue and recovery work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Right now, in addition to relocating shelter animals out of Galveston and Corpus Christi, we are transporting 41 shelter dogs from Houston to the Northeast, with final destinations of the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, and the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington, Connecticut. Helping to relocate these hundreds of animals from some of the hardest hit spots will allow local shelters to better manage the steady intake of displaced and found animals. Our team managing the Houston transport is providing updates on their journey as they make their way across the country, bringing these dogs to safety.

“Animal welfare groups in communities throughout Texas and Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Harvey have been working tirelessly to secure transports for homeless animals and get them out of harm’s way,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is pleased to be able to offer relief by transporting homeless dogs from the disaster zones to communities where they can find safe and loving homes.”

In support of the Houston SPCA, the ASPCA continues search-and-rescue efforts by boat in flooded neighborhoods, rescuing animals who have spent the past week in these extreme and unforgiving conditions. Helping the animals in the wake of this historic natural disaster is imperative to the recovery process. Generous donations make our life-saving work possible. 100% of your donation will go towards our ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Fund, ensuring that we’re ready to respond to disaster and cruelty situations in the future.

September 1, 2017, 2:30 PM ET

In support of the Houston SPCA, the ASPCA has deployed our disaster response team to assist in the transport and relocation of animals displaced by the severe flooding following Hurricane Harvey. At the direction of the Houston SPCA, the ASPCA is providing critical sheltering supplies and helping to distribute provisions to serve victims of this unprecedented and life-threatening flooding.

“Even in the wake of this enormous crisis, the city of Houston is well-served by the Houston SPCA, and we’re proud to support their work by providing valuable resources and supplies to at-risk animals and pet owners devastated by the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “This is a big part of the ASPCA’s overall effort in the affected areas, including on-the-ground work in Galveston and parts of Louisiana to help ensure the safety of animals in need.”

The ASPCA is also on the ground in Galveston, Texas, at the request of Galveston County Animal Resource Center, helping to manage the transport of approximately 120 homeless animals from Galveston County to the Humane Society of North Texas and Texas Humane Heroes, as well as assisting with the transport of approximately 100 animals who were evacuated with their families from the Beaumont, Texas area to a shelter in Alexandria, Louisiana.

The ASPCA’s search-and-rescue, sheltering and relocation teams are in Harvey-impacted areas across Texas and Louisiana. With tens of thousands of residents entering emergency sheltering, the ASPCA will provide assistance where our resources and experience can have the greatest impact caring for displaced animals and ultimately reuniting them with their families. Any residents who need help recovering pets from their homes or emergency sheltering for their pets should contact their local emergency management agencies.

The destruction caused by this natural disaster has been overwhelming, but we find inspiration in the spirit of those wanting to step up and help. As our response efforts continue, we want to share ways you can take action:

  • Make sure you and your pets are prepared for an emergency. Review our disaster preparedness information and download our Pet Safety App, to always be ready for when disaster strikes.
  • Please give a donation today to help support the ASPCA’s life-saving work. 100% of your donation today will go to the ASPCA’s Field Investigation and Response Fund.
  • Help us raise funds and awareness for our life-saving work by starting a Facebook Fundraiser, or easily add a donate button to a post or status to encourage friends and followers to give.

The days, weeks and months ahead will require help and assistance on a tremendous scale. A number of local animal welfare organizations have experienced the brunt of Harvey’s wrath and are now working on rescue and recovery efforts. Please consider making a donation to them as well since we are all in this together:

Houston SPCA
SPCA of Texas (Dallas)
Austin Humane Society
Citizens for Animal Protection
Houston Humane
Cattery in Corpus Christi
Emancipet Houston
Galveston Animal Services
Companion Animal Alliance 
Louisiana SPCA

Thank you for your ongoing concern and support and please stay safe during this time of national crisis.