Eleven dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey are awaiting adoption in Indianapolis. The Humane Society of Indianapolis picked up the dogs from the Chicago airport on Sunday.
Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 51 inches of rain on the Houston area. Widespread flooding has forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes. That means Texas animal shelters are filling up fast.
“So the shelter dogs go to other shelters, humane societies and private shelters in other cities so that the shelters then can accept dogs that are being rescued from the floods with the hopes of reuniting them with their owners or their families,” says Steven Stolen, CEO of the Humane Society of Indianapolis.
Stolen says a lot of Midwest cities got dogs because the relatively short flight puts less stress on the animals.
“Part of the decision making is, how do we reduce the amount of trauma on the animals so the re-association with people, new people, is as smooth as possible,” he says.
Before the dogs can be put out on the adoption floor, medical team member Anna Knabi says staff will conduct medical and temperament evaluations.
“She just needs time to build her confidence here, cause she’s really, really scared,” Knabi says, talking about Brownie, one of the rescue dogs. “She’s been through a lot.”
Stolen says the shelter is already in contact with authorities in Florida as animal organizations there prepare for Hurricane Irma. It’s expected to hit the U.S. early next week.
“We have a lot of animals here, but we have a weekend to adopt them,” Stolen says. “If we have a great adoption weekend and people come to the shelter and adopt animals, we’ll have room again, and we will respond accordingly. We’ll respond the best way we can.”
Stolen says he hopes the public’s interest in helping rescue animals doesn’t waiver over time.
“These folks in Texas and probably eventually in Florida, Puerto Rico, these folks are going to need help a week from now, two weeks from now, three weeks from now,” he says. “So I would urge people to keep this in the front of mind if they are animal welfare fans or if they just like animals.”
Stolen says there’s not as much of a need for housing shelter cats. While dogs often need dedicated personal space, cats can co-mingle more.
The 11 dogs in Indianapolis should be up for adoption within the next week.