It’s no secret this has been a record-shattering year in terms of hurricanes. In the wake of these storms, property is irreversibly damaged and pets are often left behind. Who is there to rescue and advocate for these abandoned pets? Organizations like Best Friends Animal Society.
When Best Friends got wind of the damage Hurricane Harvey was going to cause, they immediately started contacting their partners along the Texas coast to determine what they could do to help. Best Friends activated three main components of aid in order to assist those in need. First, they deployed a small emergency team to help those in need of immediate assistance, focusing on animal search and rescue in the Houston metro area. Next, they deployed a team of six staff to help affected network partners by delivering supplies. Lastly, Best Friends activated their disaster relief fund. They assessed what needed to be done and prepared to support their partners both financially and with teams on the ground. Gifts made to this fund have been and are currently being used exclusively for Best Friends’ relief work to help animals during and after this disaster.
Best Friends was given permission to use space in the NRG Arena in partnership with Houston PetSet and Harris County Public Health. The space was referred to as the ‘Pet Reunion Pavilion’. It was here where pets were held for 30 days in hopes that their families would be reunited with them. When the pavilion first opened, there were over 500 cats and dogs waiting to be claimed. There were 35 reunions, including two sweet stories about a dog named Boy and a dog named Buddy. If animals were not reunited with their families after 30 days, they became available for adoption or were transferred to partnering rescues.
November 3 was the day Best Friends had to be out of the NRG arena. Cats and dogs that were not reunited with a family were adopted, went into foster care, transported to partnering rescues or brought to one of the Best Friends regional locations in Atlanta, New York or Los Angeles. The organization also welcomed quite a few animals with special needs to their sanctuary in Kanab, UT, like the adorable Kirby.
During the first weekend of November, nine of the Hurricane Harvey dogs were transported to Best Friends in Atlanta. Three of them were adopted in less than 48 hours! Watch this Facebook Live to see the moment when they arrived.
There are also dogs en route to Best Friends in New York where they will also be available for adoption. If you would like more information on how to adopt a Hurricane Harvey animal, visit bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 2,000 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about two million. That means there are still nearly 5,500 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.