CHICAGO (CBS) — Several homeless dogs from Texas will be getting new homes in the Chicago area, after a south suburban shelter rescued them from the flood zone in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Many Houston area shelters have been overwhelmed with an influx of homeless dogs and cats; with many pet owners having to give up their animals, and other animals simply lost amid the massive floods.
The People’s Animal Welfare Society of Tinley Park brought back 18 dogs from a Houston area shelter that was inundated with flooding. To make matters worse, the owners also were flooded out of their home.
“Owners of the shelter lost everything. They lost their house, their car, all their dogs, their personal dogs. I think they had like 18 of their own personal dogs that they had to now find homes for, because they had nowhere to live,” PAWS Tinley Park volunteer Beth Berenson said.
Berenson and another PAWS Tinley Park volunteer made the trek to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, to save as many animals as they could.
“These dogs did not belong to anybody. This was a shelter that flooded. They had 130 dogs that had to find somewhere else to go, because there was nowhere for these dogs to go,” Berenson said.
PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving), an unrelated shelter, also has sent staff and volunteers to the flood zone to bring back homeless cats and dogs, and try to relieve some of the pressure on Houston area shelters.
PAWS Chicago founder Paula Fasseas said the agency likely will make several trips to the Houston area over the next six months to help out shelters that have been overwhelmed with homeless animals.
The South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights also sent a van to the Houston area to help rescue animals.
Overall, more than 1,000 dogs and cats already have been rescued from the Houston area. Many will end up in other shelters in the U.S. as more and more animals are rescued from the flood zone.