Funding Helps Local Groups Prepare for Next Disaster
One year after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, efforts are still underway to rebuild housing and reunite families in affected communities. The hurricane was one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the United States since Hurricane Katrina, and RedRover was one of the organizations helping in the immediate aftermath. Together with The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas, RedRover responders helped shelter more than 150 pet dogs and cats.
Since then, RedRover has worked closely with local Texas animal welfare and protection organizations to determine their ongoing needs post-Harvey. In anticipation of hurricane season, which occurs June through November, RedRover selected three organizations to receive funding to help them recover from Hurricane Harvey and prepare for future disasters.
Texas-based Animal Investigation and Response (AIR) is an animal protection organization that assists law enforcement, animal control agencies and communities with animal abuse related issues such as puppy mills and animal hoarding, and also provides assistance in disaster relief. AIR has received funding from RedRover to purchase a pick-up truck and 40-foot trailer that will be customized to transport animals in need, doubling their current evacuation capacity. The grant also enables the purchase of 500 wire cages and 500 plastic crates to transport and shelter cats and dogs. Finally, the funding establishes a veterinary medical fund to provide medical care for animals affected by disasters.
“By increasing our cage and crate supplies and doubling our transport resources, we feel confident that RedRover is not only helping us prepare for a disaster, but setting the state of Texas up for success,” said AIR President Monica Ailey.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the animal surrender rate in Houston shelters has increased 25 percent. Many residents are still not in permanent homes and cannot find pet-friendly rentals, so they are forced to surrender their pets. The number of homeless animals on the streets is at an all-time high.
Houston PetSet is an umbrella organization dedicated to making a difference by providing grants to animal welfare-related nonprofits in the Greater Houston area. By providing critical funds and working together with strategic partners, Houston PetSet seeks to end homelessness and alleviate suffering for animals. Funding allocated to Houston PetSet will support two transports of approximately 300 homeless dogs and cats to placement partners in the Midwest to free up needed space in Houston shelters.
Tama Lundquist, co-president of Houston PetSet, says, “We are so grateful for RedRover’s support. It will allow our shelters to move animals that would otherwise be euthanized to forever homes and give our rescues the chance to move animals through their programs and get more homeless pets off the street.”
The Empty Shelter Project sets up mobile clinics to provide free spay, neuter and vaccination services in under-served areas of Houston. With RedRover’s grant, they held a special community clinic on June 23 where they provided spay, neuter, vaccinations, microchip, flea and worm treatment free of charge for 343 dogs and cats.
Randy Kissling, a founder of The Empty Shelter Project, says, “Not only will RedRover’s grant help hundreds of animals, we see a tremendous value in our clients talking about the benefits of spay and neuter to family and friends in their communities, which can go a long way to solving our pet overpopulation problem.”
Featured image: A dog is rescued in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 2005. Image credit: Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA, CC BY-SA 3.0