A growing army of animal lovers is on the ground in Houston, responding to owners pleas to find their lost dogs and cats
There arent a lot of good moments in the midst of tragedy, but seeing pets reunited with their people is one.
Man, it was just really neat. The dogs just brightened up because their people were there, said Beth Gammie of RedRover, an animal welfare group responding to tropical storm Harvey at the request of the ASPCA of Texas. Gammie is one of a growing army of animal lovers responding to the storm, providing support at a shelter in Dallas designated for evacuee pets.
Harvey is cutting a wide swath across Texas and Louisiana, with particular devastation in the 2.3 million person city of Houston. Some parts of Texas received as much as 50 inches of rain, and the result is widespread flooding and property damage that could hit $190bn. Amongst the many heartbreaking images from Harvey are those of animals dogs stranded in floods, families evacuating with nothing but their clothes and their pets, and desperate pleas for news about lost animals.
Animal rescue groups were worried even before the hurricane made landfall, because the long memory of Katrina still looms large in the minds of those who did rescue work in 2005, where tens of thousands of pets died.
Katrina changed a great deal about how animal evacuees are handled, not least because 44%of those who refused to evacuate did so because they were worried about their pets.