Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Approximately 100 dogs airlifted out of Texas, following Harvey’s catastrophic flooding



(HOUSTON) — The Humane Society of the United States flew approximately one hundred dogs from Texas to New Jersey on Tuesday, as many communities in the area are still reeling from the deadly flooding left behind by Hurricane Harvey.

“Every single dog that’s coming up will be up for adoption … If the pilots on the plane don’t try to adopt them first,” Katie Jarl, the Texas senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, told ABC News on Tuesday, adding that “everybody was falling in love with them.”

Jarl said that on Tuesday they put approximately 100 dogs on a plane, provided by their partner organization Wings of Rescue, to transport the dogs out of the area affected by the catastrophic hurricane. Jarl said tomorrow they will send another hundred animals–both dogs and cats — on a second plane out of Texas.

“Today’s group of dogs went to the East Coast, and tomorrow we’re going West Coast, to Oregon and Washington,” Jarl said, adding that they are committed to “transporting up to 1,000 dogs, that need to get out of Texas as soon as possible.”

Some of the dogs headed to New Jersey were evacuated from shelters on the day of the hurricane, and others were cleared out of a shelter in San Antonio in order to make room for pets that needed somewhere to go after being displaced by the flooding.

“We know that there will be a lot of evacuees to San Antonio,” Jarl told ABC News, saying that the shelter in San Antonio will be used to house family pets, where the pets “will be taken care of, and then when the Houston evacuees find housing, they will be able to come get their dogs and take them home.”

Jarl said every breed and every size of dog was coming up to New Jersey on Tuesday, including some nine week old puppies.

“There is a reason that they say that dogs is a man’s best friend, they were so patient with us all day, they were moved from crate to crate, from tarmac to airplane,” Jarl added of the dogs. “These dogs are going to make amazing pets to the people of New Jersey, they just wanted snuggles and treats.”

Some of the animals will be met in New Jersey by the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, and it’s sister shelters around New Jersey.

“Our hearts are with the people and animals of Texas, and we and our partners will continue to help in the days, weeks and months to come,” Heather Cammisa, the President and CEO of St. Hubert’s said in a statement Tuesday.

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St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center has helped coordinate the placement of dogs from shelters affected by natural disasters, such as the 2016 California wildfires.



MADISON - St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center is coordinating the placement of at least 100 dogs from shelters in Texas to make room for others displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

It is the first flight to the Northeast of animals affected by the hurricane.

The animals will arrive Tuesday morning to Morristown Municipal Airport before heading over to St. Hubert's in Madison, where they will be fed and cared for before being distributed to one of 15 sister shelters in the area, Debra Miller said.

Moving the pets out of the Texas shelters will make way for animals displaced by the storm so they can stay close to their owners, said Miller, director of marketing and events at St. Hubert's.

"We want to be able to connect them back to their families after the hurricane," she said. "We want to empty the shelters to make space for those pets." 

After the dogs get a rest for meals and exercise, they will be transferred to partners including Animal Alliance in Belle Mead, Animal Welfare Association and Voorhees Animal Orphanage in Voorhees, Father John's Animal House in Lafayette, Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover and Somerset County Animal Shelter in Bridgewater.

"We're the hub for these animals, so they come here. We have so many places we deal with, sister shelters. We have room," Miller said. 

Animals will also be transported to shelters in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Delaware, New York and Canada. 

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center is mobilizing its Sister Shelter WayStation to accept the animals, Miller said. The program coordinates 58 animal welfare organizations in the eastern region of the country to help prevent shelters in one area from having too many of one breed - or size - of dog available for adoption.

The Human Society of the United States organized the airlift with Wings of Rescue to bring dogs from the San Antonio Animal Care and Control, whose staff has been assisting several shelters in the Houston area.

"These pets are incredibly lucky to get a second chance through St. Hubert's and their WayStation partners," Kim Alboum, Shelter Outreach and Policy Engagement Director for the Humane Society said in a statement. 

Miller said as long as shelters need room and pets are in need, St. Hubert's is ready to help them. 

St. Hubert's is a part of a national network of designated Emergency Placement Partners with the Humane Society, and responds to emergencies to accept animals or deploy experienced staff. The center accepted 133 dogs from California following wildfires in 2016. 

"Anything they need, we're here to help," she said. 

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