In Houston, Texas, the Harris County Animal Shelter opened its doors on the Friday before Memorial Day. The staff had no idea what the weekend would bring. After being open for just a few hours, the animals began pouring in. People were dropping off their dogs (and some cats, too) and the shelter soon had over 100 animals. The shelter can comfortably accommodate 150 animals in their facility. However, that was just the beginning. Saturday and Sunday saw more than 100 additional abandoned animals, the most the shelter has seen so far in 2018.
The shelter then closed its doors for the Memorial Day holiday and then reopened on Tuesday. That’s when more dogs and cats began pouring in; someone even dropped their dog in the parking lot of the shelter facility. In all, 375 animals were brought to the shelter. The shelter staff says they have over 400 dogs and cats available for adoption, which includes those dogs in foster care currently.
The Harris County Animal Shelter needed help, so they created a ten minute video and posted it to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyAnimalShelter/videos/1944014135611056/ . It showed all the dogs and cats cramped into cages together. So, what happened to cause this huge influx of dogs arriving at the shelter?
The staff says summers are usually busy, and it’s quite common to see puppies arriving in the summer months. However, the holiday weekend saw such an incredible number of animals that the shelter thinks this part of the aftermath from Hurricane Harvey. Many people reported that they were no longer able to care for their pets because of “lifestyle changes,” but no one knows for certain. The shelter says they are actively working to find foster families and arrange transportation for the dogs to head to other, less crowded shelters.
To help the Harris County Animal Shelter, please consider signing up to volunteer or foster a dog: http://countypets.com/Volunteer-Foster/Foster or donate pet supplies: http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/About/Organization/VPH/Donate-to-the-Animal-Shelter