(N.Morgan) Hurricane Harvey has brought devastation and destruction to many parts of Texas, and as rescuers and media enter so many of these flooded areas, they have made the heart-wrenching discovery that pets, especially dogs, had been left behind when people evacuated.
Despite advanced warnings from authorities of the need to make arrangements for yourself and your pets, not everyone heeded the information, resulting in these heartbreaking photos of dogs left in harms way emerging on social media.
Even though many families were able to evacuate with their dogs, evidence is showing that a number of dogs were just left behind.
Many were found having taken shelter on a tiny patch of higher ground, but the number of dogs found chained or simply tied up and abandoned to fend for themselves as the floodwaters caused by tropical storm Harvey rose around them is shocking.
With the heavy rains continuing and waters still rising from both the natural disaster and those man-made disasters like the release of water from dams, anyone who chained or tied a dog to poles or trees handed them a death sentence.
Thankfully, many of the courageous bystanders who saw these dogs in trouble never thought twice before wading in to save them, and although greatly overwhelmed, the humane societies and authorities want to help save them also, and are taking each report seriously.
These two dogs were chained up on properties, but photographer Ruaridh Connellan untied them and took them to safety.
Not all of the dogs were found chained, some were simply left behind. Fortunately for this dog, a kind neighbor took him in.
My neighbor left their dog out in the back yard and evacuated… so lord knows I took him and brought him into my house ???? pic.twitter.com/pMObSmMNto
— Cøurtney∞ (@weiszass8) August 25, 2017
One reporter covering the hurricane captured this photo below. At least their family had the good sense to put the two dogs in a boat.
“Sadly a family had to evacuate their flooded neighborhood in Dickinson, #Texas without their dogs,” the reporter wrote. “Hope they’re ok. #houston”
He later added, “I should add, I think the people have every intention of coming back to get the dogs,” he wrote.
“Food was left behind and I suspect it had to be a tough choice and that they will come back for them as soon as they can.”
Other dogs have been found trying to find dry ground or something to hang on to, like this dog did to a guard rail.
Fortunately for him, he was rescued by 4 Paws Farm, who are in Texas and working tirelessly to help save stray and abandoned dogs.
Not every dog has been so lucky. One person shared this sad photo of a dog killed by the other dangers caused by a hurricane and flooding – downed electrical wires.
“Neighbors evacuated yesterday. They left their fur baby behind. He was electrocuted at 5:30 a.m. He was a beautiful German Shepherd.”
Ahead of the storm, law enforcement agencies urged dog owners to unchain their pets.
The Roman Forest Police Department issued a stern warning on Facebook, after witnessing some dogs left chained outside homes.
They explained that their chief had witnessed a chained dog drown during a past flood, writing,
“The dog barked and barked as the water kept rising until the water got high enough and the barks stopped.”
“Please do not keep your family members tied to a rope or chain. It is against the law to keep a dog on a chain during extreme weather conditions,” they wrote.
“I promise you, that I will hold anyone accountable that unlawfully restrains they’re dog in extreme weather conditions,” Chief Carlisle added. “Dogs are your family members too.”
In the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, some 250,000 animals died or were displaced.
If you are looking for ways to help stray animals stranded by Hurricane Harvey, contact a Texas animal shelter or rescue organization and see how you can help.
Many are looking for temporary foster caregivers, food supplies and funds.
How you can help in the effort to save these animals:
At this time, Houston PetSet is looking into how we can be a resource and potentially partner with our civic leaders, law enforcement and national partners to support those working “in the trenches” to make a difference.
In response to an outpouring of support from friends both near and far – even friends from across the globe! – we have set up a Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund to begin raising the critical funds that will be necessary for animal rescue and welfare-related efforts.
If you are so inspired, please consider making a donation and Houston PetSet will be sure your dollars are used wisely in helping all animals and their owners affected in our community.
If you are an existing Houston PetSet Grantee in need of emergency funding, please send an email with details including an estimated budget and your plan to spend the funds to serve animals and their owners in affected areas to firstname.lastname@example.org for our review and consideration.
Thank you all for your support during this time of tragedy. Together, we can help alleviate suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey… For The Animals!
To make a donation, go HERE