AUSTIN, TX — Austin Pets Alive! coordinated the rescue and transport of nearly 100 pets from across Texas, sending them to the Boston-area on Thursday where they will be available for adoption at the Northeast Animal Shelter and the MSPCA-Angell.
Thousands of dogs and cats entered shelters during Winter Storm Uri, which ravaged the state and left millions without power, heat, and/or water. Shelters across Texas were left without resources to care for many of their animals, so Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) sprang into action, coordinating the safe placement of pets to transport them north. APA! is aiming to save 1,000 Texas shelter pets at-risk of euthanasia over the next two weeks.
“We are working with shelters that are open air, so through the storm battled no power, no heat, burst pipes, and more. They needed a partner who could coordinate this lifesaving and be a safety net for pets for a few days before moving them to safety elsewhere around the country,” said Clare Callison, Maddie’s® Director of Pet Supply and Demand. “We pulled this transport together in record time. A transport of this volume would usually take about two weeks of planning, but these dogs and cats were counting on us now, so we worked day and night to pull this transport together in about 48 hours in order to get nearly 100 dogs and cats to safety.”
Thursday’s transport of 92 dogs and cats is heading to the Northeast with APA!’s shelter partners at Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS) and the MSPCA-Angell. Two teams from the NEAS and MSPCA—consisting of eight staff members in four vans—left for Austin on Feb. 23, loading up Thursday and starting right back up to Massachusetts, expecting to arrive back Friday evening.
The cats and dogs now on their way to Boston were originally from San Benito Animal Control, San Angelo and Concho Valley PAWS, and Laredo Animal Care Services. They made their way to APA! earlier in the week, where they were vetted and cared for before heading north.
“The MSPCA-Angell’s recently announced affiliation with Northeast Animal Shelter means that we are in a unique position to help in a more impactful way than either organization could on their own. Our newly formed team is equipped with more vehicles, staff and resources that allow us to immediately act when disasters, such as Winter Storm Uri, strike,” said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers at MSPCA-Angell and interim executive director at the Northeast Animal Shelter. “We’re proud to play an important role in ensuring nearly 100 dogs and cats will be safely relocated to Massachusetts, where we we can find them homes.”
This transport is just one of many that APA! is coordinating in the wake of Winter Storm Uri. Pets have already been placed in Chicago, IL at Wright Way Rescue and Felines & Canines; Sheridan, WY; Cheyenne, WY; Jackson, WY; Salt Lake City, UT; Fort Collins, CO; and Denver, CO, reaching nearly 350 pets saved and transported out of Texas as of the morning of February 25. More transports will continue through the weekend and into next week.
Texas shelters who need help getting pets out as well as shelters that are able to transport and/or receive cats and dogs should contact [email protected]. The biggest need at this time is for organizations that can safely transport pets. To help make these transports happen, people are encouraged to give to Austin Pets Alive! here.