Rescuers Race to Save Pets Left Behind in Hurricane Harvey
The monster storm forced many furry refugees to be left behind.
Among thousands of displaced Texas residents are an unknown number of four-legged, furry refugees.
In a series of heart-tugging social media posts, animals in the ravaged floods left by Hurricane Harvey can be seen getting carried out, pulled out and paddled out to safety.
In one particularly poignant image, an abandoned dog is seen tied to a telephone pole, surrounded by water. A news photographer rescued the pup.
Social media users posted other images of dogs left tied to trees and signposts and left in boats.
Animal control officers and civilian volunteers have been wading through the wreckage, rescuing abandoned or runaway pets.
In Chambers County, the sheriff announced Tuesday that all of the animals at the Tall Tails kennel had been rescued, along with the facility's owner. All were boarded onto a boat and ferried to safety.
Cats were herded into cages and transferred to safety via boats in Houston and outlying neighborhoods.
Rescue shelters across the country were offering temporary lodging to pets that became separated from their owners during the chaos of Harvey.
A group north of Houston, 4PawsFarm, is working with pet lovers nationwide to raise money and help collect lost animals. As of Tuesday, a GoFundMe page established by the organization had raised more than $97,000.
Police helped herd cattle to higher ground as the storm bore down, and officials repeatedly warned evacuating residents against tying up livestock and pets.
“I promise you that I will hold anyone accountable that unlawfully restrains their dog in extreme weather conditions,” Roman Forest Police Chief Stephen Carlisle said in a statement.
“Dogs are your family, too.”
All manner of wildlife was also displaced, including squirrels, snakes, fish and alligators.
State park officials warned people to watch where they stepped and not to panic when encountering alligators and snakes. The reptiles, like the residents, are just trying to get to higher ground.
For those searching for lost domesticated animals, there are a number of sites online featuring photos of lost pets and the locations where they were last seen.
There also are photos of animals found, with images and phone numbers of those who have taken them in.
"Found this adorable dog," reads one post on Hurricane Harvey Lost & Found Pets. “Tried calling the number on the [collar] no answer.”
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