In anticipation of Hurricane Laura's ground fall on the Texas coast early Thursday morning, Dallas Animal Services (DAS) has been working with Gulf and Dallas-area partners as well as the Office of Emergency Management to assist pets in need.
Shelters near the coast began reaching out to DAS on Tuesday in hopes of transferring a portion of their adoptable pet population to Dallas to make room for pets separated from their families during the upcoming storm. On August 26, DAS took in 17 adoptable dogs from the
SPCA of Brazoria County in Lake Jackson, TX which immediately entered DAS' pet adoption program.
On August 30, Dallas Animal Services worked with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to take in 25 additional adoptable dogs from Pen Pals Animal Shelter at Dixon Correctional Institute located in hard-hit Louisiana. By taking in pets that were already up for adoption out of the impacted region, Pen Pals Animal Shelter will have more capacity to help animals in their community who were displaced due to the hurricane. Pen Pals Animal Shelter was constructed with a grant from HSUS following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It is the only animal shelter in the country located on a prison complex.
"This situation is unfolding quickly, and DAS is committed to assisting Texas pets in any way necessary," said Ed Jamison, DAS director. "Taking in these additional animals will not exceed our capacity for care, but our staff and fosters are already working extremely hard to respond to the ongoing pandemic. We desperately need residents to
foster, and donate to our Friends of Dallas Animal Services group today!"
On the evening of August 25, the City of Dallas' Office of Emergency Management also notified DAS that buses of evacuees had begun arriving in Dallas to shelter in local hotels. It is unclear at this time how many of the evacuees are pet owners whose pets may need supplies and medical care, but DAS staff are onsite to meet the evacuees as they arrive. “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the network of animal shelters here in Texas, and we are already seeing how these stronger relationships are increasing efficiency in natural disaster response,” said Jamison. “The Dallas community is always supportive of Texans in need, and we are confident they will support DAS during this crisis."
Make a tax-deductible donation to DAS' non-profit fundraising partner, Friends of DAS at https://www.friendsofdas.org/hurricane-laura.
You can also help by
becoming a DAS foster or
adopting online today.
Are you an evacuee?
If you're in need of pet-friendly housing please see this resource guide from the SPCA of Texas which has a list of pet-friendly hotels and options in the DFW-area.
DAS is only able to provide shelter for pets through the City of Dallas' Office of Emergency Management. The Mesquite Reception Center at 15515 East Interstate Highway 20 is working with both The Red Cross and Dallas Office of Emergency Management to accommodate evacuees and their pets and is available for evacuees that are transported by the State of Texas or self-evacuate.