As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Texas with heavy rains and cause life-threatening floods, many are worried about their beloved animals.
Local and national organizations have already taken steps to evacuate animals. Shelters in the badly affected Gulf Coast areas had already evacuated animals by Friday evening, when Harvey escalated to a Category 4 hurricane. The Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act was passed in 2006 after Katrina to ensure that animals wouldn't be forgotten when emergency preparations were made. Here are places where you can donate or foster:
If you are an animal welfare professional and want to volunteer your skills to relief efforts you can submit this online form. Volunteer information will be shared directly with Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas.
The SPCA of Texas has also put out a call for foster homes to help care for the animals already in shelters and those coming from the Gulf Coast. The organization along with local groups like the Houston Humane Society are also accepting financial donations and in-kind donations, including cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards.
Austin Pets Alive is seeking families that can foster cats and large dogs. In addition to cash donations, the organization can also use in-kind donations like large plastic or metal bins with lids. Space for some items is limited so check with the organization first before you gather supplies.
"Currently, our numbers have increased to 330 animals (169 dogs, 122 cats, and 40 more confirmed pets en route.)," Austin Pets Alive wrote to ABC News. "Within the next 24 hours,those numbers are expected to increase by 50 to 110 animals, depending on how navigable some roads are. Our current projection is that we will have evacuated around 1,000 animals to Austin Pets Alive! by the end of the week."
The Animal Defense League of Texas is providing shelter and care for displaced pets and are desperately seeking fosters, supplies, and financial assistance in their efforts.
The Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team provides response to natural disasters. They have volunteers, equipment, and rescue vehicles currently working from Corpus Christi to Texas City to San Antonio.
The ASPCA is on the ground with search-and-rescue, sheltering and relocation teams in Houston and much of Harvey's path. They are asking for monetary donations or membership within the organization to support ongoing rescue efforts.
The Louisiana SPCA is getting ready in case flooding in New Orleans should occur this week. The group has already transported dozens of animals living in Harvey's path to Atlanta.