Hurricane Harvey has battered the Texas coast for several days, making it’s first landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, it weakened to a tropical storm, but still continues to unleash high winds and gallons of rain on the Gulf area. However, the Gulf Coast is no stranger to hurricanes, and though many people have lost their cars and homes, most residents take it fairly well, considering that the situation is officially a disaster. A spirit of community comes over the affected area, and ordinary men and women have been helping those in flooded homes find their way into shelter all over the city of Houston.
In a situation where so many people are in danger, losing vehicles and homes, pets can often become an afterthought to rescuers. The shelter situation in Houston has been “iffy” at best for pet owners. The George R. Brown Convention Center is currently being used as a shelter, but organizers have been turning away evacuees who attempt to bring pets with them. Unable to find other shelter for their animals, and unable to return home, they’ve had no choice but to sit outside the convention center, in the wind and rain with their pets. The Red Cross also has several shelters available for those in flood zones, but is not allowing pets either.
The comfort of pets, part II. A woman reacts as she is told she can’t bring her dog into a shelter for evacuees. [LM Otero/AP] pic.twitter.com/dAwWy2IyU6
— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) August 27, 2017
Pet owners in Houston are told NOT to leave their pets behind. If your home is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your cat or dog either. But with the roads flooded and rain continuing to fall, it’s not as easy as it usually is to just find boarding for your animals. It’s being stuck between a rock and a hard place for Houston evacuees – where are they supposed to go when no one will give shelter to their furry loved ones?
Houston resident Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack, owns Gallery Furniture and has been a trusted face in a community of more than four million for decades. His stores may be the largest in Houston, and he has generously opened both – to both people AND their pets. It’s a huge relief to those unable to take them anywhere else. Gallery Furniture (both Katy and Northline stores) have beds, food, and electricity for all who find their way there.
Photos have been surfacing all over social media of rescuers wading through the high water with pets, trying to keep them dry and getting them to higher ground. In such an uncertain, ongoing situation, it’s heartwarming to know that Texas hasn’t forgotten that their pets need to be safe, too!
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) August 28, 2017
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) August 27, 2017
If you’re in the Houston area and need to evacuate, take good care of your pets, no matter what! Gallery Furniture has recently announced that it is at capacity, but there are other shelters taking pets as well. There is no reason to leave your pets alone to suffer the dangerous conditions out there.
a list of non profit shelters open to help w harvey victims (Yes/No if they allow pets) pic.twitter.com/23hgN9BrK8
— dumbass ev 🌤 (@pimpdaddyev) August 28, 2017
Featured Image: @BiologistDan via Twitter