If you want to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey, the Louisiana SPCA has some ideas of what to do -- and what not to do.
"We are encouraging the public to NOT donate tangible items. From our past experience with Hurricane Katrina, the immediate need for animal disaster assistance is monetary donations. This allows affected shelters to purchase the items they need without having to sort through and store thousands of donated items,'' the SPCA said in a press release.
"Once the floodwaters recede and the groups are able to assess damages and needs, they will be able to better tell the public what tangible items they need. Please make monetary donations directly to Houston SPCA or SPCA of Texas."
If you are an animal welfare professional in southeast Texas and in the Houston area and want to volunteer in the relief efforts, you can submit this online form.
"Volunteer information will be shared directly with Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas so they can contact you if they require your assistance."
The Louisiana SPCA is also getting ready in case flooding in New Orleans should occur this week. "Because we are not safely out of the danger zone yet, we are doing our best to reduce intake and move adoptable animals out of our facility," Louisiana SPCA CEO Ana Zorrilla said in the press release.
The SPCA has received "100 wire crates from the state to assist with setting up a temporary animal shelter should the need arise." The shelter will pick up and house any pets owned by homeless people who enter a shelter during flooding from Hurricane Harvey. They will also pick up any displaced animals.
Pet owners who live in Orleans Parish and need the city's assistance should register with officials by calling 311. Registering in advance is critical. If tropical storm Harvey does flood the New Orleans area, the SPCA has some advice.
"We are urging pet owners to make sure they have made provisions for their pets in the event of localized flooding. Be sure to have the following items ready to go should you need to evacuate quickly: food and water, medicine and medical records, collar with ID tags, harness or leash, crate or other pet carrier, and sanitation."
Visit the Louisiana SPCA's Facebook page for more information. And to report an animal emergency in Louisiana call 504.368.5191, ext. 100 or email [email protected]. If you or any family members live near the coast in southeast Texas or Louisiana, foster homes for displaced pets will be one of the most important resources.
Hurricane Harvey is the worst tropical storm in United States history. Rescue efforts will continue for weeks along the Gulf Coast before rebuilding, which will take years.
Here is a checklist of what to prepare for natural disasters in the future.
Have you ever donated to the SPCA or any other animal rescue? Let us know in the comments section below! And share this on social media so everyone can help the Texas coast!
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