Shelter dogs and cats from the flood-ravaged Texas Gulf Coast will soon be available for adoption here in Minnesota.
A team of veterinarians and animal care staffers from the Twin Cities-based Animal Humane Society (AHS) will travel next week to Texas and help triage injured and traumatized animals rescued from the floods.
The Humane Society’s transport team will return with some of the shelter animals awaiting adoption before Hurricane Harvey hit, freeing up space and resources in Houston for animals separated from their families and in need of temporary shelter.
AHS spokesman Zach Nugent stressed that the Minnesota team won’t be taking animals that were lost during the flooding and who could be reunited with their Texas owners.
Transferring rescue animals to the Twin Cities from other parts of the country isn’t unusual.
The demand in the Twin Cities to adopt rescues regularly exceeds the supply, so the AHS brings up more than 8,000 cats and dogs each year from Southern states, which have the opposite problem — more animals than families that are willing to adopt.
“Our community is amazing. We place value in rescue animals. We are animal lovers,” Nugent said.
The Twin Cities AHS, the largest shelter in the Upper Midwest, placed 19,266 companion animals in new homes in fiscal 2016. Its expenses in 2016 totaled around $17.5 million at five locations; adoption and service fees and donations account for most of the group’s budget.
Nugent said his staff has been in contact with the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and another national group, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, to help coordinate the response.
“Our main goal will be to support the shelter down there. We’ll do a lot of triaging of animals rescued,” Nugent said.
“We will be part of the second wave, so we can provide relief for people now on the front lines.”