Left Behind: Pets in Hurricane Evacuations

HOUSTON -- With Hurricane Harvey damage totals still piling up, it's estimated that more than 30,000 people have been forced from their homes so far.

And countless pets have found themselves abandoned, lost, or homeless. 

Hurricanes can be especially cruel to pets -- 60- to 70,000 dogs and cats reportedly died as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Preparations are underway to protect pets that have nowhere to go.

"We could only take this dog, Charlie because the waters were too high," said Autumn Henley.  When Autumn evacuated, she had to leave three of her dogs behind, and hope for the best.

"Luckily a family who lived in the neighborhood had a boat and they went back and rescued the three other dogs from the upstairs bathroom."

She and her dogs are now staying at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, which has been accepting pets since sunday night. Volunteers are working to give pet owners what they need.

Salise Shuttlesworth is executive director of the organization Friends for Life.  "They need very basic things -- warm blankets, food, crates, we have a veterinarian here."

Across  hurricane ravaged Texas, owners, neighbors and good samaritains are doing what they can to rescue four-legged friends.

And it's not just pets that need help. Ranchers have had to drive their cattle to higher ground.

Lisa Norwood is with the city of San Antonio Animal Care Services where they are crating up sheltered dogs and cats and sending them to cities across the country to make room for pets separated from their owners during  Hurricane Harvey. These cats arrived in san diego on monday.

With punishing rain still falling, going home is not yet an option for many -- whether on two legs, or four.

"People love their animals, it's heartbreaking. People are taking good care of their animals, doing the best they can," says Shuttlesworth.


(Mireya Villareal, CBS News)

 


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