Shelter is being provided for flood victims, both human and animal, but it does comes at a cost.
Since Thursday, nineteen buses have transported about 850 people from Corpus Christi to San Antonio as part of the city's evacuation plan. Free shelter was being provided for flood victims -- both human and animal -- of Hurricane Harvey, however to utilize it, owners had to be willing to spend the night apart from their pets.
While the humans in the equation were being routed to available shelters in the city, any animals on the buses were to be taken care of by San Antonio Animal Care Services. According to assistant director Shannon Wade Sims, the animal shelter is able to care for up to 165 dogs, as well as cats, reptiles, birds, and exotics.
"At that point, we get all the owners' information, any special needs of the animal, things like that," Sims said in an interview with the Caller Times. "We provide a collar for the pet that has the person ID for the owner. We also provide a bracelet, kind of like you get at the hospital, with your animals' pet ID."
They also take a photograph of the pet with its owner, so that only the owner can reclaim the animal.
"All of our staff at (San Antonio's Animal Care Services) are actually very passionate pet owners so we understand the stresses that the citizens who have been displaced are going through. Not only are we a shelter here, by tomorrow we will have our veterinary staff for the duration of the event."
Still, some evacuees are foregoing the free shelter to stay with their pets. Irma and Kevin Pogue, are one such couple. Their five-year-old long-haired Dachshund Gizzmo has never spent a night apart from them, and they don't plan to start now.
"This isn't a dog," Kevin said. "This is a child; this is my child. I'm not going to be separated from my child, it's that simple. If I have to stay out here in the rain in the streets to be with my dog, that's what I'm going to do."
Instead of using the provided shelter, they chose to stay with Gizzmo at a motel.
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