Life is full of surprises each and every day, some nicer than others, but Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas was not prepared for what happened on a Friday morning, that was a holiday weekend with a difference!
Just a short time after they opened 100 animals were given in to the shelter, can you believe it? That really is a huge number, what craziness was this?
The facility could hold 150 animals at a time, to give you an idea of the magnitude of this and on Saturday another 100 animals flowed into the shelter, it was there highest ever intake!
On Monday the shelter had to close for the Memorial Day, however, the animals just kept coming! On Tuesday there were more still, they just kept coming in thick and fast, even in the parking area they were being abandoned too!
They arrived at the end of the Tuesday with 375 pets all desperately needing to be re-homed, what on earth was happening?
Kerry McKeel from the shelter said:
“When I checked the very first thing this morning, we were at 407 animals that are available for adoption …”
“That’s not including all the animals we currently have in foster care or in our transport section [animals that will be moved to another adoption facility] of the shelter.”
The shelter had to take drastic action and asked for help on social media:
This time of year is usually a busy period for most of the many rescue organizations, but the Harris County shelter had an exceptional time of things.
Kerry also said:
“Summertime is always busy in Texas, and Houston in particular; we always see our highest influx of animals in June, July, and August …”
“We have a longer breeding season, so we receive a lot of puppies, kittens, and pregnant moms.”
Kerry believes that the influx is directly related to the slow recovery from the Hurricane Harvey, especially since it a holiday weekend too.
“Some of the feedback we’ve been getting is that people have had ‘lifestyle changes,’ …It’s hard to pinpoint it specifically being Harvey-related, but we do know that a lot of people’s lives have been flipped upside down because of Harvey…”
“…they’re moving into rental facilities where their landlords no longer allow pets, they’re moving out of town and can’t take their animal, they can’t board their animal because resources have to be diverted elsewhere.”
Thankfully other organizations are helping too and transferring animals to out-of-state adoption partners, which is relieving the pressure from the shelter too.
“Even fostering an animal for two weeks can make a lifesaving difference”
The main focus now it to find good homes to put all these animals in, and to try to get back to normality!
“Everyone was overwhelmed at first, but I think we have a plan in place, and now we’re in action mode …We’re trying to get as many of these animals into homes as possible, and give them a second chance.”
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