boat transporting flood stranded animals and displaced pets

Hurricane Harvey – Domestic Animals In Crisis, The Rescue Underway & How You Can Help (Part One)

 J. Lee


The devastation Hurricane Harvey is creating for human life and property is well known through 24 hour news coverage. Loss of life has yet to be determined as numbers rise daily. Unknown numbers of homes have been damaged beyond repair.

The storm has also been a hardship for animals. Surrounding shelters and shelters outside Texas are scrambling to have their pets adopted to make room for animals impacted by Harvey. Many of them would like to help, but they have no room to take in more.

It will be a while before we know the full impact on pets, livestock, strays and wildlife. How many were able to be rescued or find shelter is yet to be determined and  weeks before it’s known how many did not survive.



Photos: Pet Rescues in Harvey’s Wake“The dogs and cats of displaced flood victims are being cared for by owners, neighbors, and first responders across the region, finding medical attention and safety in shelters, and remaining close to their owners.”

Pets Weren’t Forgotten In The Rush To Save People In Harvey’s Path – (Aug. 26, 2017) “Texas isn’t the only state where pets may be displaced from their homes. In Louisiana, cities like New Orleans are braced for flooding and have already sent animals on to cities out of Harvey’s way, such as Atlanta.” 

Texans refuse to leave pets behind as they flee Harvey – (Aug. 28, 2017) “Many Texans grabbed not only their valuables but also the dogs, cats, birds and other pets as they fled the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. “It seems like everyone coming off a boat is carrying a dog or cat,” said Monica Schmidt, a manager for the Houston Humane Society.”

Yahoo News: Stranded pets rescued amid Hurricane Harvey flooding in southeastern Texas – (Aug. 28, 2017) “Rescue efforts are also underway for pets and animals across the state, with many shelters and good Samaritans helping animals that are scared, hungry and alone.”

Video: World Animal Awareness Society: Hundreds of Stray Dogs Need Help Right Now In Houston Following Hurricane Harvey! Operation Houston – (Aug. 29, 2017) Help the stray dogs at risk in Houston! Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc on Houston and the: community, stray, abandoned and homeless dogs are paying a heavy price from this unprecedented disaster.

Aol: Animals being rescued during Hurricane Harvey – 19 Photo Slide Show


VIDEO ABC7 Newscast: Lost dog carries his food in wake of Harvey – (FROM STORY WITH NEWSCAST): According to the original poster, the dog somehow got loose in the wake of the storm. He was then spotted strutting through a neighborhood in the town of Sinton, which is outside of Corpus Christi. The poster later said the canine named Otis and his owner reunited.


Austin TX has Austin Pets Alive (working with animal shelters in Harvey’s path), Austin Animal Center (City run shelter) and Austin Wildlife Rescue (wild animals).

San Diego Humane Society sent food and supplies to help pets who have been displaced.

Guy Drives Toward Hurricane To Rescue Animals In Its Path(August 28, 2017)”He departed Austin and headed to Corpus Christi. As thousands of cars headed away from the oncoming storm, he headed toward it. “I didn’t really think — I just figured someone needed to help them,” Connor said.”

The crisis in Texas, and the urgent call to help animals and people – (August 28, 2017) “The HSUS is there, on the ground, committed to helping all the victims, especially the animals, because that is our special charge.”

Hurricane Harvey Heroes Rescue Animals – (Aug. 29, 2017) “Hurricane Harvey Heroes Rescue Animals | People are risking their lives to save animals from the floods of Hurricane Harvey.”

Hurricane Harvey rescues: California groups helping displaced animals – (Aug. 29, 2017) “Rescue groups in California and throughout the country are mobilizing to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding in Texas and Louisiana.”


A new crisis happened when a damn was opened. Those who thought they were safe became affected by rising water. The staff at Tall Tails found themselves scrambling to save their animals.

Texas Animal Rescue Needs Help Immediately, Reaches out on Facebook – As Hurricane Harvey pummels Northeast Harris County, their kennels are filling with water. The rescue’s president, Keven Miller, sent out a desperate plea on Facebook asking for help. As flood waters reached record highs, the dam located north of the shelter was opened. Tall Tails is located outside of the Harvey danger zone, and until Sunday night, all animals and people were safe. But when the dams were opened, more than a foot of water took over their small outdoor kennel. The rain is still falling, and meteorologists expect the flooding will get worse before it gets better.

Tall Tails Shelter, Northeast Harris County



Many say Harvey has brought the worst flooding in 500 years. It is devastating when nature brings wrath to man and animals. Human resilience will prevail as has been witnessed by previous disasters.

It is a blessing to know there are those who have compassion for animals who would have no hope of survival if left on their own. It is wonderful to see so many rushing in to help or by supplying help from a distance.


Austin Pets AliveAustin, TX, (512) 961-6519

The Houston SPCAHouston, TX, (713) 869-7722

Donations: Petsmart Charities “PetSmart Charities has allocated at least $1 million in funding and three truckloads of donated pet food and supplies to help pets and pet parents impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

Donations: The Humane Society “Please give to our Disaster Relief Fund today to help animals in urgent need.”


Part 2 – Livestock rescues 

Part 3 – Wildlife rescues

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