Wings of Rescue and ASPCA Help Evacuate 170+ Animals Impacted by Winter Storms in Texas

February 22, 2021

a rescued dog being transported

To assist Texas animal shelters impacted by the recent weather crisis, the ASPCA and Wings of Rescue led the urgent transport of more than 170 dogs and cats via ground and air to shelters in the Northeast where they will find safe, loving homes. Animal shelters across Texas have been severely affected by the unprecedented winter storms, many losing power and access to water, and these lifesaving transports are providing much needed relief to shelters and animals in their care.

ASPCA responders unloading rescued animals from a transport truck

“The weather crisis in Texas has created dire circumstances for animals across the state, and we’re proud to work with our partners to relocate more than 170 homeless animals to safer areas, which also frees resources at animal shelters to help them continue to serve their communities,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO. “This is a remarkable collaborative effort, demonstrating the deep commitment and compassion of the entire animal welfare community to meet the needs of these vulnerable animals.”

aspca responders moving rescued animals out of a transport truck

Using three ASPCA Animal Relocation vehicles, we moved nearly 150 dogs and more than 25 cats from Athens Animal Rescue Shelter, Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake and Humane Society of North Texas to two regional airports, where the animals were loaded onto Wings of Rescue flights, funded by the ASPCA. The animals were flown to Brandywine Valley SPCA in Delaware, and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, where they will be cared for until they find loving homes.

rescued animals being readied load onto a wings of rescue plane

"The Humane Society of North Texas is extremely grateful to have a strong partnership with the ASPCA and Wings of Rescue in these lifesaving flights," said Cassie Davidson, Director of Communications, Humane Society of North Texas. "The original flight was cancelled last week for safety reasons as the severe winter storm approached Texas. Our dedicated staff cared for all of our pets during frigid weather conditions over the past week while our shelter was closed to the public. The flights today will free up nearly 100 kennels so we can reopen our shelter on Sunday to the public for intake and adoptions. We know these pets will be going to loving homes and we couldn't be happier for them."

Loading rescued animals onto a plane

“February brought us a double whammy. Right before the extreme weather set in, we were hit with 80 dogs and puppies from a hoarding case,” said Jennifer Miller, Director of the Athens Animal Rescue Shelter. “The ASPCA was right there with us, working on plans to move almost half of these dogs to shelters where they will be adopted quickly.”

a view of texas from the plane

“Severe winter weather greatly impacted Texas this past week as well as our shelter. We are so grateful to the ASPCA Relocation Team, and Wings of Rescue for coming to OUR ‘rescue,’ to relocate 37 of our dogs to find loving homes,” said Sharon Banaszak, Director, Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake. “We are very proud to be a partner with the ASPCA in their lifesaving relocation program. ASPCA provided the support, and resources this week to assist when we needed help the most."

rescued dog in a carrier

Year-round, we deploy nationwide to assist in relocation, search-and-rescue, sheltering and placement of animals during disaster and emergency situations including severe weather, wildfires, tornadoes and floods. As inclement weather continues in some parts of the country, we will continue to remain prepared to assist vulnerable animals when they need us most.