Hurricane Katrina shook the rescue network to its core. At the end of what was already one of our nation’s greatest natural disasters, it was realized that this wasn’t only a tragedy in terms of human lives lost, but pets. Over 600,000 pets were killed or displaced. After the debris was cleared and people were grasping at how they were going to continue on with their lives, the shelter world made a vow to never let so many vulnerable animals be overseen during times of crisis again.
Because of this vow, APA! made a commitment to save as many pets as humanly possible during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. By helping shelters in the line of the storm evacuate their animals and by setting up hubs in the Houston area to take in surrendered, displaced, and rescued pets, APA! alone was able to save 5,000 lives. Considering the yearly average of lives saved by APA! was 7,500 at the time, this seemed almost surreal.
It showed that by working together as a community, saving thousands of lives during times of disaster is possible – lives like Odin’s.
Odin is a Harvey rescue. Displaced by the storm, his story pre-APA! is unknown. What we do know is that Odin is not only a blocky-headed dog, making him particularly vulnerable to euthanasia across the country, but that he found himself homeless during an extremely stressful time for animals and people alike.
Despite the trauma of his situation, Odin holds nothing but love in his heart, which is what drew his mom, Melanie, to him. From day one of them meeting, Odin wanted nothing more than to lick her face and play fetch until she was the one huffing-and-puffing. His outgoing, playful personality perfectly meshed with Calypso, Melanie and her husband’s other fur-child. Since Odin’s homecoming, Calypso and Odin have been inseparable.
These days, Odin enjoys cuddling in Melanie’s lap, playing unlimited amounts of fetch, and making new friends. Melanie even expressed that she believes Odin tries to talk to them – especially when it’s time to go outside and play.
Harvey took much from us, but it didn’t take away our spirit. In fact, it put us in a position to learn and grow. In 2018 alone, we were able to save more than 10,000 lives. That’s more than 10,000 animals who were given a second chance at life and love. Animals who may not get that chance elsewhere.
Many pets have similar stories to Odin, but what matters is that their stories have been able to continue. If you would like to help pets like Odin find their happily ever after, please consider giving today.