How to help: Austin shelters expecting influx of animals after Hurricane Harvey

In Rockport Valerie Brown and her dog walk through a flooded area after leaving the apartment that she rode out Harvey

The Animal Humane Society of Minnesota is sending a rescue team to Texas to help animals impacted by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

By Saturday, Austin Pets Alive, a central Texas adoption center, had transported more than 235 animals to its facility from shelters in Harvey's path.

Ringwood-based Southern Paws is a rescue group that specializes in transporting animals north from southern states where there is a higher rate of euthanization of shelter pets. Many people in New Orleans also opted out of evacuating because they did not want to leave their pets behind as animals were then barred from shelters.

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Debra Miller, spokeswoman for St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, tells moving the dogs from the shelters will help families affected by the storm stay close to their pets.

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. "Taking them would cause panic for them when they came back to discover someone had taken them or maybe they would think the dogs had been swept away", Lavandera said in response to comments he received on the photo.

The Human Society of the United States organized the airlift with Wings of Rescue to bring dogs from the San Antonio Animal Care and Control, whose staff has been assisting several shelters in the Houston area. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here).

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The shelter will provide people with all the supplies needed to care for the dogs.

The Atlanta shelter is anticipating more animal shipments from areas near Houston and along the coast in the coming weeks. Some that had to be left behind and later rescued by emergency officials.

"We are happy to be able to assist in the disaster relief effort for these animals". Volunteers are working to give pet owners what they need.

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