Sue and I live in Austin, Texas and we watched with disbelief as we saw news footage of Houston and surrounding areas under water. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones and whose lives have been upturned by Hurricane Harvey. We both have family in Houston, and while they experienced flooding, we are thankful that everyone is safe.
As animal lovers, we can’t imagine how it would feel to be separated from your pet because of an emergency. In addition to people being rescued, many animals in distress were in need of rescue as well. Austin Pets Alive! was the first on the scene taking in hurt, lost and owner surrender animals from the Houston area.
When we heard how many animals were pouring into Austin we wanted to help. The first couple days we donated and delivered supplies directly to APA’s Town Lake and Burnet Emergency shelters. But after seeing just a glimpse of triage unit first hand we quickly realized what they really needed was people power. Sue and I signed up to be APA Emergency Response Volunteers. Hundreds of other Austinites did as well.
If you can, consider donating directly to Austin Pets Alive!. I promise you your money will be well spent. It will go to medical supplies and transporting animals in need. APA is a legitimate nonprofit that does great work. I have seen it first hand. They took in nearly 1700 animals displaced Harvey animals and there are still more coming in every day. Forty pregnant cats, ten pregnant dogs, as well as sick, injured and old animals.
Volunteering wasn’t glamorous, but it did feel good to do my small part. My duties were basically hosing down cages filled with poop and/or kitty litter. I also used my truck and trailer to transport crates, dirty laundry, dog and cat food, and trash to the dump. Sue spent more time with the animals, taking them on walks and giving them baths, but she also cleaned and hosed cages and did some poop patrol time as well.
We are proud that Austin is the largest “no kill” city in the United States. Austin Pets Alive! led the way and now other cities are following in their footsteps.
There are many organizations that raise funds after a natural disaster, but sometimes you aren’t sure if your dollars are really used well and wisely. Sue and I have experienced how this organization runs during a crisis and we can say with confidence that Austin Pets Alive! is a nonprofit we trust. They are run almost entirely by volunteers. They receive no funding from the city, they rely solely on donations. Sue and I will continue to volunteer with APA and we are now in their foster program so we will be able to help in other ways. We first began fostering with Central Texas Dachshund Rescue in 2005 and will continue to foster dachshunds for them as well.
REGARDING HURRICANE HARVEY: APA has received tons of in-kind donations of items they really needed. The response was amazing. They have now secured a warehouse to store the supplies so they will be able share with Houston Pets Alive! and other shelters as needed.
What they really need now is financial donations. They need money to pay for medical supplies and vet techs and animal transport. Remember, they never turn away a sick or injured animal. They are an amazing organization. Read more about Austin Pets Alive!.
They are a 501c3 so your donations are 100% tax deductible. So, if you can, please give a few dollars. Thank you.