Dogs Days of Harvey

Kayley Swedlund, Reporter

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Many organizations such as the Austin Pets Alive! have been rescuing animals who lost their homes from the hurricane that hit late August and shelter them from the storm.

APA! rescue group has been working around Austin by saving animals from being euthanized. They would pick up stranded pets from the streets tending to them and later putting them up for adoption.

For almost three weeks,  APA! has been working in Houston to shelter cats and dogs that were impacted from Harvey by making sure they have a home. They currently have two temporary shelters around the Houston and Katy area both of which are open all day to  volunteers and foster families. About 800 dogs and 600 cats are sheltered at APA! Shelters, according to the APA! website.

 “I was absolutely disgusted and shocked at how many people left their pets behind in the flooding. It broke my heart to know that people left members of their families behind.”  said Dawn Dandy, a volunteer who worked at one of the APA! Shelters.

The one day she volunteered there, she said there was a lot to take in all at once. About 100 volunteers worked there everyday and no one was sitting around doing nothing. The volunteers cleaned the crates, served food, or dispatched in boats to take pets to the shelters and much more. Most dogs that came in were limping and quite a few other dogs had IV’s for dehydration. The animals that were not injured were scared.

“I was an emotional mess, “ said Dandy. “Most of the group was just as dog crazy as I was, so I felt completely comfortable crying a little.” she said she wanted to take all the animals home.

But thankfully for her, many people did just that.  

“The first week we got the puppies, they were really scared, ” said Emma Rodriguez, a sophomore student in Morton ranch high school whose family took care of a family of puppies from APA!  “The mama dog wouldn’t let us touch her puppies or else she’d growl at us.” Rodriguez said her family took care of the small family for almost two weeks, then they took them to Colorado for a new home.

“I’m kinda sad that they left though,” Rodriguez said “They were really sweet dogs to take care of.”

It will take months to return all the pets back to their families but the APA! and many other rescue groups are doing their best to make sure every cat and dog will get a home. Because every animal deserves one.

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