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Local shelter rescues pets affected by Hurricane Harvey

After being displaced from their shelters in Texas, more than 35 dogs have found a new home with Pet Rescue in Harrison.

Keri Sershen, of New Rochelle, holds her foster dog, 14-year-old Quigley, who was one of the dogs that were transported from Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

Pet Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue made up of volunteers who take in cats and dogs in hopes of finding them safe homes, started working with other rescues out of Montgomery County in Texas, which is just north of Houston, after Hurricane Harvey trounced the city on Aug. 25 causing catastrophic flooding.

Paula Krenkel, president of the board of directors for Pet Rescue, said that a volunteer of theirs had a family member from Texas who they were able to coordinate with to make the animal transfer happen.

“Rescue work is, like everything else, a matter of [networking],” Krenkel told the Review.

She explained that the family member in Texas had been “concerned about the dire need for help down there in Houston.”

The dogs arrived at Pet Rescue’s Harrison headquarters on Sept. 14 thanks to Bottle Babies Rescue van, a nonprofit that rescues and finds homes for dogs and cats.

Pet Rescue is expected to be taking in more dogs as well as cats in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, to free up spaces in the shelters, Krenkel said that people from across Westchester County have been stepping up and fostering the new dogs.

Seg and LeeLee, two dogs from the Harrison-based Pet Rescue, pose with the donations collected that were driven down to Texas to help in the aftermath of the hurricane.

“It was a huge response,” she said. “We never expected it.”

Kim Alboum, director of the emergency placement partner program for the Humane Society of the U.S., HSUS, explained that shelters in Texas are being cleared out to make room for animals whose families couldn’t take their pets with them when they evacuated for Harvey.

Although Texas Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on Aug. 27 that families were allowed to bring their pets into evacuation shelters, many animals were still separated from their families.

As of press time, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, has assisted 600 animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and the HSUS has helped more than 1900 animals.

“There are situations when pet owners do not bring their pets with them when they evacuate—whether they are unable to transport their pets or are evacuating to a safe location where pets are not allowed,” said Alyssa Fleck, spokeswoman for the ASPCA.

Dogs of all ages were brought up from Texas and are available to be fostered and adopted from Pet Rescue. Photos courtesy Facebook.com/NYPetRescue

Alboum explained that people looking to help these shelters should consider donating to their local rescues.

“They’re the ones now taking care of these animals,” she said. “Shelters all over the country have stepped up to accept these animals.”

Alboum also encouraged those interested to consider accepting another pet into their home.

“It’s a wonderful time to adopt,” she said. “Adopting from an animal shelter right now, even if it’s not an Irma or Harvey shelter, is still clearing room in the system.”

Along with creating homes for these animals, the rescue is also accepting donations, which are being brought down to Texas in the transportation vehicles that brought the animals up.

“This time we packed an entire truck of food and supplies,” Krenkel said.

She explained that donations have included everything from blankets, to food and crates.

“They need everything,” she said.

For more information on how you can become a foster for Pet Rescue or to donate, visit NY-PetRescue.org.

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