Thursday, September 13, 2012
SPCA of Texas fosters hundreds of animals in the wake of Hurricane Isaac
Here's a chance to adopt a new best friend.
MCKINNEY Two weeks ago, Hurricane Isaac hit the shores Louisiana, pounding the Gulf Shore with torrential rain forceful winds. The category 1 cyclone scattered floodwaters throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition to their belongings, many displaced families also lost their four-legged friends to the elements.
So when anticipating shelters in Louisiana began making room for the refugees, the SPCA of Texas stepped up to help. From August 28 to September 1, the local animal welfare agency welcomed 265 dogs and cats shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi, the majority of which were taken to the Perry Animal Care Clinic in McKinney. As of Wednesday morning, 73 have been adopted.
"We knew there were of ton of animals coming in, there was such an outpouring of support," said Lacy Ball, communications specialist with the SPCA of Texas. "But many people overlook the fact that we have animals that have been waiting for a home since April."
While the transfers from Louisiana came in, the SPCA of Texas also seized 120 cruelly treated fowl, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a duck from a property in Hunt County, filling its two North Texas-area shelters to bursting.
For three days, the shelter refrained from scheduling surrender appointments and halted all animal transfers from its local transfer partners. Temporary housing at the McKinney shelter, located at 8411 Stacy Road, was created in a matter of minutes, including a climate-controlled barn which became a haven for cats to help reduce stress and prevent possible illness. The SPCA also made space for several dogs at its Dallas shelter.
In order to take in 522 animals in five days, Ball said the SPCA also held half price adoption promotions that week in an effort to make room for the new pets coming in and to help find their "forever" home with local families.
All SPCA adoptions include a free 14-day wellness visit, 30 days of free pet insurance, a bag of food, spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip, and de-worming.
"The SPCA of Texas always prepares for the unexpected, whether it be seizing hundreds of animals or providing assistance to partners in times of crisis," Ball said. "We work well in advance to plan a budget, train volunteers and staff, and inform the public and the press so that we are as prepared as possible when these special circumstances occur."
The SPCA's Rescue and Investigations program is one of its core programs, and is able to handle such rescue operations thanks to the support of local foundations and national organizations that provide grants and other forms of financial assistance. While the price reduction created some financial struggles for the shelter, substantial supply and financial donations are helping get the SPCA close to breaking even, Ball said.
"We want folks to know that while we are thrilled we were able to take in so many wonderful pets from Louisiana and Mississippi, we still have dozens of dogs and cats who have been waiting at our shelter locations for months," she said. "Of course, the clock is not ticking for pets at the SPCA of Texas, but we do want them to find their forever families as soon as possible."
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