Last year, tens of thousands of families were planning on celebrating Labor Day by attending backyard barbeques, playing fetch with their dogs, and relaxing in their hammocks with a glass of lemonade.
Things didn’t turn out that way.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck Texas with winds up to 134 MPH and catastrophic rain that caused $125 billion in damage – matching Hurricane Katrina for the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Across huge swaths of Texas, people fled their homes, entire neighborhoods were destroyed, and confused cats and dogs found themselves separated from their families and fighting against rising floodwaters.
To help, American Humane activated our national volunteer corps and sent four teams of trained disaster relief workers into action, along with three 50-foot animal rescue vehicles equipped with supplies and sheltering equipment. Working at four different locations and setting up two “mega-shelters,” we provided refuge and care to thousands of animals, worked with our friends at Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food to deliver free meals to hungry, homeless pets, and reunited hundreds of animals with their owners.
On that terrible Labor Day weekend, animals weren’t able to curl up with their owners or play in the yard… but because of the American Humane Rescue team and dedicated volunteers, thousands of displaced animals found safe places to sleep, nutritious meals, and caring people to be their families until they could go home again.
A year later, the families and pets of Texas, Louisiana, and all the areas that were affected by Hurricane Harvey are still in our thoughts. From all of us at American Humane, we wish you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.