This Oregon disaster response team just deployed to help with animal relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The Oregon Humane Society sent a disaster response team on Wednesday to assist the SPCA in Houston Texas with Hurricane Harvey pets and to help with animal relief efforts.
Two Oregon Humane Society (ORS) staff members and two volunteers will care for shelter animals and displaced pets in Houston. Each member of the Oregon team is certified in disaster relief work by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and trained to work in emergency animal shelters.
ORS also sent teams during the wake of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and to help with the devastation from the tornadoes in Missouri and Oklahoma.
The Oregon disaster response team will stay for a week. ORS also expects to send more teams to Texas after this first team deployment.
Moving Animals to Safety
"Natural disasters of this scale can leave thousands of animals without homes and will easily overwhelm the ability of local shelters to care for pets," according to Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. As a result, out-of-state shelters will transport and care for Texas shelter animals. OHS estimates that 20 unclaimed or stray animals will be safely transported to Oregon for adoption. In comparison, ORS adopted out approximately 100 animals after Hurricane Katrina.
Most of all, the shelter works carefully to not transfer what may be someone's pet out of state. Transporting pets out of state who were already in shelters before the hurricane makes room for Hurricane Harvey pets. Keeping pets in the state gives pets and owners separated during the hurricane a greater chance of finding each other.
Another organization named Wings of Rescue will fly approximately 40 animals to Oregon for adoption. Wings of Rescue flies pre-Harvey strays out of state in order to make room for Hurricane Harvey pets.
As of today, Wings of Rescue has flown four flights carrying 390 Harvey animals from Texas to shelters in other states. In addition, four more flights carrying 270 more pets are scheduled to bring animals from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma (driven out of Texas by volunteers to those locations) to Washington, DC, Chicago, and San Diego. A video of one Wings of Recue flight is here:
You Can Help
Do you want to help Hurricane Harvey pets? If you would like to support the Oregon Humane Society's efforts in Texas, you can donate online. The Houston SPCA also accepts online donations. Check out more local places you can donate here.
Do you have a hurricane rescue story to tell? Let us know in the comments below!
WATCH NOW: How to Prepare Your Pet for an Emergency