Best Friends' disaster response team is deploying to Texas to rescue stranded animals, deliver supplies to hard-hit shelters, transport displaced shelter pets and support emergency sheltering efforts.
Best Friends volunteers, especially those with animal-handling experience, will be notified in the coming days of specific needs and how to support our work or that of our partners as soon as the situation on the ground warrants.
Best Friends staffers John Garcia and Meg Burke are a certified Type 1 rescue team, which means that they are qualified to accompany human search and rescue teams in order to handle the associated animal situations that arise. They are qualified in swift-water, flat-water, high-angle and trench rescue and they will also engage in direct ASAR (animal search and rescue) work. John and Meg are deploying with Code-3 Associates out of Longmont, Colorado, a professional animal disaster rescue and response organization with 32 years of experience in disaster response and specialized training. Together they will constitute the most highly qualified and best-equipped animal rescue strike force in Hurricane Harvey’s impact area.
In addition to John and Meg, a team of Best Friends staff led by Marc Peralta and Tawny Hammond will arrive in Texas starting tomorrow to begin delivering emergency supplies, and transporting animals.
We know from prior experience, especially from our work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that it will take days and perhaps weeks to be able to fully assess the extent of the physical damage and the scope of the impact on the animals caught in this devastating situation.
Best Friends has opened our disaster response reserve fund to help in these efforts. If you want to support Best Friends’ emergency response to Hurricane Harvey, we encourage you to contribute to it now. Every penny of your gift today will be spent on Hurricane Harvey and the recovery efforts to help reunite pets with families, help animals turned into shelters find homes, and help the Houston area rescue groups and shelters rebuild and recover.
Please keep our team and all those affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and keep up with our latest reports on Best Friends' Facebook page.