Pet Businesses Send Supplies and Assistance to Hurricane Harvey Rescue Efforts
Lucy Pet Foundation chief veterinary officer Dr. Karen “Doc” Halligan assists animals in need of immediate medical care in Brazoria County in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
It has been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, leaving millions of people and their pets displaced. According to some experts, it could take years for the Houston area to fully recover from the storm.
Pet businesses nationwide, including pet specialty retailers, pet product manufacturers, veterinary hospitals, distributors, pet insurance providers, animal shelters and more were quick to respond and offer aid in the relief efforts.
Pet Product News has aimed to provide extensive coverage of the ways in which pet professionals have contributed to the recovery following Hurricane Harvey. The pet industry has continued to share its stories of how it is helping the millions of people, pets and businesses impacted by the record-setting storm.
With that in mind, here is a list of the animal assistance the pet industry is providing to Houston and the surrounding areas:
AKC Humane Fund
In support of the people and pets affected by Hurricane Harvey, the AKC Humane Fund has donated $10,000, through its "Sandy Fund," to the city of Houston to aid in relief efforts. The donation was made to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the Hurricane Harvey Relief fund created by Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The AKC Humane Fund's "Sandy Fund" allows AKC clubs and affiliated organizations to provide assistance for pets and their owners in their own communities during a time of disaster.
In addition to the monetary donation, the AKC Humane Fund has donated an AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer to the city of Houston. The AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared. The trailers house and deliver essential animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, bowls, collars and leashes as well as fans, lighting and generators; cleaning supplies and maintenance items. These supplies can be used as co-location shelters, where people can evacuate with their pets, as well as emergency animal shelters for displaced animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
AVMA has donated $100,000 toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The funds will be allocated via grants administered by the association's charitable arm, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).
"This is a way for the AVMA to help our members, while simultaneously helping animals and their owners get the care they need in their time of need," said Dr. Michael Whitehair, Chair of the AVMA Board of Directors. He explains the donation was made with the only condition being that the money go strictly to Harvey-related grants.
"In addition to providing financial support, the AVMA is playing an important role in helping to disseminate information within the veterinary community, between the veterinary community and organizations providing animal and public assistance, and to animal owners and advocates so that those who need help get the right support as quickly as possible," Dr. Whitehair added.
The AVMA is in constant contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is a member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC). Staff and volunteers participate in daily NARSC conference calls to plan and coordinate animal-related response to the storm, and have also reached out to the veterinary medical associations and colleges in those states affected by Harvey. In addition, AVMA members and industry partners across the profession have contacted the association asking how to best assist Harvey's victims. As a way to connect those in need with those wanting to help, the AVMA has also created a special web page with links to resource materials, hotlines, and companies offering in-kind products.
Individuals wishing to directly support the efforts of veterinarians on the ground, should consider donating to the AVMF. Visit AVMF.org/Donate and use the code "Disaster Relief" to designate your money for reimbursement grants, which assist veterinarians who are providing services and shelter in the impacted areas.
Lucy Pet Products
The charitable arm of Westlake Village, Calif.-based Lucy Pet Products, Lucy Pet Foundation (LPF), deployed chief veterinary officer Dr. Karen “Doc” Halligan, LPF founder Joey Herrick and LPF registered veterinary technician Casey Jenkins to Brazoria County Texas to assist hundreds of animals in need of immediate medical care as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
“The Lucy Pet Foundation will assist in the day-to-day treatment of shelter pets and help with the constant influx of animals in need of medical care for upper respiratory problems, skin infections, ringworm plus help manage the 300 plus animals being housed at the nearby fairgrounds,” said Dr. Halligan, who also assisted suffering animals during Hurricane Katrina and is the former director of Veterinary Services for spcaLA.
LPF will also assist in preparing current shelter animals to be transported to other states for adoption into forever homes.
“We were asked to deploy by the Brazoria County SPCA,” said Herrick. “We are familiar with this organization through adoption events held at this location in the past. “We are proud to be assisting after this devastating natural disaster.”
In addition to medical aid, LPF will be donating Lucy Pet’s Formulas for Life Pet Food to shelter dogs and cats. “We are very happy to be able to provide food to these traumatized pets,” Herrick added.
To help pet and horse owners cope with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, animal nutrition and care company Manna Pro Products has sent approximately $150,000 worth of products to organizations in Houston. The company is also matching employee donations to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and several other organizations to support relief efforts.
“It’s hard to imagine all of the losses that people in Texas are facing, but it’s our hope that this support will ease some of the worries pet owners have about caring for their animals,” said John Howe, president of the Chesterfield, Mo.-based company. “We’re grateful that the AAEP and other organizations are able to distribute our support to help those in need.”
Manna Pro has donated more than 20,000 items from its Nutri-Vet division of dog and cat products. Items include vitamins and probiotics; nursing, calming, and dental products; and shampoos. The company is also providing financial support to AAEP due to the difficulty of getting supplies from outside of the region to affected horses.
In addition to AAEP, Manna Pro is matching employee donations to the American Red Cross, to provide needed resources such as shelter and meals to police and rescue teams. Employee donations are also being matched for the Houston SPCA to support its animal rescue and relief efforts.
Petland made the 19-hour road trip to Houston with the Ross County Humane Society.
The Ross County Humane Society delivered donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey and to bring back some adoptable dogs and/or puppies to open up some desperately needed space.
Petland donated more than 1,200 lbs. of dog food along with crates, canine ear cleaners and prebiotics to the Ross County Humane Society for the organization’s trip to Houston. The retailer, which has headquarters in Chillicothe, Ohio, also provided RCHS with $300 for gas and travel expenses.
To ensure all of the donations went where they were most needed, Petland secured a large cargo van to assist with the delivery.
Petland Chillicothe general manager Krystal Reveal drove the van and made the journey with the local Humane Society.
Pets Best a pet health insurance provider, has added a call-to-action to its home page, making it quick and easy for visitors to make a donation to aid in the relief efforts. The company is directly forwarding visitors to Austin Pets Alive.
The pet insurance provider will also post to social media and push notifications to all customers through its portal to help drive much needed donations. Pets Best is also contacting vet clinics in the affected areas to see how exactly they can provide support—either through supporting building back their offices and/or support as they may be treating many more pets that were harmed during the storm.
Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu have launched a chain-wide donation drive to aid families and pets affected by this disaster. The company has also donated $100,000 in pet food and products. Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket stores will be accepting donations to support the Houston SPCA and other local shelters through the end of September.
During the evacuations, many pets were lost or left behind and local animal shelters in the Texas area are in critical need of support. The seven Houston Pet Supermarket stores are closed and, like many business and homes, are under floodwaters.
"Our hearts go out to the people and pets of Houston and the state of Texas," said Tom McNeely, CEO of Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu. "We hope that our donation and in-store fundraiser will help with the recovery effort and provide some relief for those affected."
Pet Supermarket has 200 store locations in the Southeastern U.S., and Pet Valu has 350 stores in the Northeastern U.S.
Pet Supplies Plus
Working closely with Pet Supplies Plus Texas neighborhood locations in Katy, Spring and Cyprus, the pet retail store, which has headquarters in Livonia, Mich., has donated more than $30,000 worth of products to be sent down from company distribution centers to the three Houston-area Pet Supplies Plus stores. From there, the goods will be distributed to local Houston charities, including the Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA and St. John the Divine.
Included in the donation are more than 4,000 bags and cans of dog food, 270 bolster mats, 900 packs of 50-count training pads, 1,300 interactive pet toys and 2,000 bags of dog treats. Pet Supplies Plus is working closely with its vendors to collect additional pallets of food and treats to be shipped to the region.
"The disaster in Houston has affected millions of people and what cannot go overlooked are the countless pets that the hurricane impacted as well," said Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus. "We are doing everything in our power to assist local Houston animal shelters and charities during this trying time, and we sincerely thank our store owners, neighbors and partners who are helping us in our effort."
In addition to product donations, Pet Supplies Plus team members and franchisees are supporting relief efforts by generously giving their own time in the Houston area or by making a monetary donation. Many individual Pet Supplies Plus Stores across the country have set up product and donation stations in their local communities for Hurricane Harvey relief.
Pura Naturals Pet
Pura Naturals Pet has donated $20,000 of product, in addition to aiding in the rescue and transport of animals to free up room in Texas shelters for family pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
The Seattle-based company partnered with Karma Rescue and SPCS International to aid in the efforts of animal rescues during Hurricane Harvey.
To help in the care and feeding of these animals Arlington, Texas-based Solvit, a brand of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Radio Systems Corp., has donated over 1,500 pet travel bowls and 400 pet food storage bags to the Houston SPCA.
“We all have seen the touching photos of animals and their owners who have been affected by this hurricane and like millions of other Americans we wanted to do something to help,” said Patrick Hoffman, president of Solvit Products. “It’s a sad situation and we hope that these bowls and food bags can in some small way help care for these animals in their time of need.”
TropiClean Pet Products donated more than 200 TropiClean wipes to help with relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey. The donated wipes will be sent to San Antonio’s Humane Society, National Disaster Dogs and the FEMA Task Force.
“We can’t begin to comprehend the devastation and destruction that Hurricane Harvey has created. We’re praying for both pets and their people who were caught in this horrible storm,” said James Brandly, public relations specialist for the Wentzville Mo.-based company.
Wondercide sent six employees to Austin Pets Alive to set up an offsite intake facility for the animals expected to arrive at the organization. The Austin, Texas-based company’s employees were on hand to set up, donations, sorting supplies, transporting animals from south Texas, fostering at their home—the company founder included—and in the office, and its leadership team is organizing efforts with nonprofits, rescues, and for profits all across Texas to raise funds for pets, equine, and children supply needs (leashes, collars, crates, diapers wipes, 500 bails of hay, etc.).
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