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Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Night Soother: Harvey edition

by digby

It's not exactly soothing, but it's necessary. Right now we're all hoping fervently that this hurricane doesn't result in loss of human life. But humans aren't the only ones in danger:

Via Bustle:
As Hurricane Harvey storms through the Gulf of Mexico, residents in areas along its targeted path are preparing for intense rainfall and flooding. Meteorologists expect the hurricane to strengthen to Category 3 (Hurricane Sandy was a Category 2, for comparison) by the time it hits the South Texas and Louisiana coast. While humans have the option to hunker down indoors or flee, stray animals do not. But there are ways to help stray pets and wild animals survive Hurricane Harvey.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, abandoned dogs and their offspring have been roaming New Orleans, a city that already had a high population of wild dogs before the hurricane. Pet owners evacuating in a rush had assumed they would return home soon enough. Hurricane Katrina resulted in more than 600,000 animals dead or stranded in the end. Even the smaller-scale Hurricane Sandy trapped animals on the East Coast, requiring rescue operations and emergency care for hundreds of animals.

Now Hurricane Harvey has the potential to leave the next devastating and permanent mark on homeless animals. If you live in an area where Hurricane Harvey will strike, take precaution by bolstering your home or preparing your escape plan if an evacuation order has been issued in your city or council. If you also want to help stray animals, the sometimes forgotten victim in natural disasters, here's what experts advise.

I assume that most of the local animal rescue and advocates have done what they can to lure stray dogs and provide flood shelters for feral cats. But the rest of us can still help:

If you are unable to foster an animal yourself, make a financial donation to an animal shelter in areas that will be affected by Hurricane Harvey, or offer any much-needed resources like crates, trash bags, pet food, and pet beds.

This is a web site for San Antonio Pets Alive. I would imagine there will be lists of various animal rescue organizations soon and I will post them when I find them.

If you are in the area after the storm has passed, this is some good advice:

The potential carnage left behind after Hurricane Harvey passes could include massive flooding and stranded strays. Check with organizations operating rescue efforts if you can be of any help. If you spot a stranded animal, don't assume someone else will come and take care of it. You can be resourceful like the Louisiana man who used an air mattress to ferry dogs to higher ground. Unfortunately, hurricanes can exacerbate the spread of infectious diseases, including ones transmitted by cats and dogs, so proceed with caution. If you're uncomfortable or unable to approach the animal, contact an animal rescue team.

Godspeed to all the humans AND all the critters on the Gulf coast this week-end.