How the Pet Industry is Helping Pets in Need After Hurricane Harvey
In an unprecedented collaborative effort, pet stores, veterinary hospital groups, manufacturers, distributors, and associations and organizations within the pet industry are pooling their resources and working with lead disaster and shelter officials to coordinate logistics of providing much needed supplies to the aid in the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has displaced thousands of people and pets in the Houston area.
Companies in the industry are also finding ways to share warehouses, facilities and distribution centers for storage until affected areas can be accessed.
The Pet Leadership Council (PLC) also reports that many companies in the industry are also tapping resources to help provide vehicles and helicopters to assist with evacuations and providing financial assistance to rescue organizations. PLC has developed a public map of locations where open animal hospitals and supplies can be found and will regularly update as conditions change on PLC's website.
“The Pet Leadership Council was founded just under three years ago, for this very reason; so that we as a united industry can work together on issues that affect the health and well-being of companion animals in our country,” said Bob Vetere. “Each and every one of the Pet Leadership Council members, as well as others in the pet community, are making Houston and surrounding affected areas a priority for them and we’re aligning all of our efforts to ensure that we’re all doing so in the most efficient manner.”
Here is a current overview of the pet industry’s animal assistance in Houston and surrounding areas, what the public can do to get involved and how those in need can access assistance provided:
American Pet Products Association (APPA)
APPA is coordinating efforts with more than 1,200 pet product manufacturers to solicit donations, supplies, and assist in animal care efforts.
Central Garden and Pet
The Walnut Creek, Calif.-based company has dog, cat, reptile, equine and small animal supplies ready when needed.
Ethical Products in Bloomfield, N.J. has earmarked truckloads of dog and cat beds to help animal welfare agencies who are working on the front lines to rescue and care for pets that have been left homeless due to the floods.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the people and pets who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” said Jonathan Zelinger, president of Ethical Products. “We’re committed to supporting everyone we can who has been impacted by this disaster, including pets and pet parents staying in evacuation centers and shelters in Houston who require appropriate bedding to keep their pets safe and comfortable.”
Ethical Products is working with the following relief organizations: Animal Defense League of Texas, Austin Pets Alive, Houston SPCA, SPCA of Texas, and St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J.
I and Love and You
I and Love and You, a premium dog and cat food brand in the grocery channel, is sending 20,000 dog and cat meals to the Convention Center in Houston as part of the ‘Hearts Fur Harvey’ relief campaign.
“We know that pets are important family members,” said Tom Spielberger, CFO of the Boulder, Colo.-based company. “We hope these donated meals will bring a little peace in these trying times. Our hearts and prayers are with Houston."
I and Love and You is dedicating the month of September to supporting rescue and shelter partners working hard to save the lives of those animals affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. In addition to the 20,000 meals donated to rescues in the Gulf region, consumers can sign up to donate a meal in their name to an animal in need.
Lucy Pet Foundation
Lucy Pet Foundation, the charitable organization of Lucy Pet Products in Thousand Oaks, Calif., teamed up with KTLA-TV, a Los Angeles CW affiliate, and the Salvation Army to assist the thousands of people and pets who fled the flooding of Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston area.
Right now, the Salvation Army has 42 mobile kitchens set up in the disaster zone, and it is providing 1,500 meals a day, along with water, clothing and blankets, according to KTLA-TV.
Lucy Pet will send one bag of Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Pet Food to shelters in the greater Houston area for every $10 in donation from KTLA-TV viewers. Lucy Pet will match donations for up to 30,000 pounds of pet food.
Viewers can donate online at ktla.com/help; enter the dollar amount they would like to give.
The Franklin, Tenn.-based manufacturer has deployed sponsored canine search and rescue teams from National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to the Austin area to help. The is in close contact and are coordinating with non-profit partner, GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program to send more than 40,000 pounds of their food for pets in the area who are in immediate need of help. The program is working with FEMA to understand the need and deliver food where it is needed.
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare in St. Louis is making a donation of $25,000 to Greater Good [https://greatergood.org/what-we-do/] to support people and pets that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. The funds will help to provide support for immediate rescue efforts, much needed supplies, and rebuilding initiatives for individuals and communities affected by the storm.
In times of need, Purina works with disaster relief partner Rescue Bank, a program of GreaterGood.org, to deliver Purina pet food, cat litter and FortiFlora—a probiotic supplement that helps reduce symptoms of stress—to pet shelters in the affected areas. Rescue Bank has a reserve of Purina product on-hand, and the organization has already been able to distribute small quantities of food and litter to pet shelters in the area.
At this time, mass flooding and poor road conditions are hindering many of the distribution routes. However, volunteers are standing by to distribute items throughout the region as soon as it is safe to do so. Purina will continue to assess the situation and is prepared to send additional product when weather conditions allow.
“Hurricane Harvey hit our home state hard over the past week—and as the water recedes it is time to take action,” said Emily Watkins public relations manager for the Austin, Texas-based company.
Nulo is coordinating a pet food donation of more than 20,000 pounds to several local shelters in Texas for displaced and homeless pets, as well as refugees with pets. The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, who has taken in more than 200 displaced animals from coastal areas and is caring for the pets at the mega shelter in San Antonio, will be the first location to receive the donation from Nulo.
Pet Food Institute (PFI)
PFI members are working through their relationships with emergency relief organizations, foundations, partner shelters and retailers to coordinate shipping of supplies and food to Texas. PFI is helping to identify additional alternatives, as current hub, Rescue Bank, is currently inaccessible.
Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA)
PIDA is working with their distributors with facilities in Texas to coordinate distribution centers.
Petmate is based in Arlington, Texas, and the company is dedicated to helping out its neighbors—both two-legged and four-legged, to the south, said company officials.
Petmate is donating needed supplies to shelters and rescue organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area like the Humane Society of North Texas, SPCA of Texas and Rescue Bank Dallas to aid in their efforts at housing thousands of displaced pets.
Petmate also provided crates, kennels, leashes, blankets and more to several rescue teams and charity partners, like the MuttNation Foundation and Jackson Galaxy Foundation, which are making heroic and life-saving trips to Houston and the surrounding areas to transport pets out of the affected areas.
After the storm and floodwaters recede and Petmate trucks are able to safely deliver to the area, the company will continue to donate more supplies as they are needed.
Additionally, Petmate’s employees have committed to collecting funds to donate to the American Red Cross on behalf of the company.
Phillips Pet Food & Supplies
The distributor, which has headquarters in Easton, Pa., is offering the use of its Arlington, Texas facility to store donated pet food and supplies that will be distributed throughout the areas affected by the hurricane. Phillips will utilize its fleet of trucks to transport and facilitate the delivery of requested supplies to relief organizations wherever needed.
Based on the immediate needs that have been identified through the relief organizations, Phillips Pet Food and Supplies will be donating Dream Crates wire crates to help in the safe transportation of rescued and stray companion animals. The Phillips’ Sales force in Texas is currently working with its customers to identify what the additional needs within the communities they service.
Tuffy’s Pet Foods
Tuffy’s Pet Foods, makers of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet pet foods has launched an initiative that will provide aid to pet owners across affected areas.
The company established a GoFundMe page for others who wish to pledge their support to the pets and pet owners who have been severely challenged by Hurricane Harvey. The page is accessible here or via the NutriSource website.
“Like many of you I have been following the reports and pictures detailing the devastation in the gulf coast area,” said Charlie Nelson, president of the Perham, Minn.-based company. “I can share with you that we will be making a monetary donation to get the GoFundMe page off to a healthy start and will also make a pet food donation to feed at least 5,000 pet meals to assist pet owners and their pets that have been impacted or displaced due to Hurricane Harvey.”
Tuffy’s will be reaching out to its vendors, distributors, retailers and other contacts in an effort to deliver even further aid to those in need.
Dan Schmitz, national sales manager at Tuffy’s, said that efforts to help are ongoing and that the logistics of getting aid directly to those in need are being addressed.
The Middleton, Wis.-based company is donating batteries, flashlights, insect repellents, pet grooming and care products to assist with recovery efforts.
World Pet Association (WPA)
WPA is coordinating efforts with its members including manufacturers, retailers and distributors across the country in order to organize efforts and support immediate and ongoing needs in Texas.
Check petproductnews.com for more coverage on how the pet industry is helping the relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.