CHICAGO (CBS) — Nine volunteers from PAWS Chicago headed to Houston in three vans early Friday, to rescue dogs and cats from shelters that are filling up with strays in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

PAWS will take in several dogs and cats who already were in shelters before the storm, to help make room for an overwhelming number of homeless pets that have been coming in after Harvey flooded the Houston area.

The pets will be brought back to the PAWS Medical Center in Little Village, where they will receive any necessary vaccinations and medical care, be spayed or neutered, and provided with microchip IDs before they’re cleared for adoption.

PAWS founder Paula Fasseas and training director Joan Harris flew down to Houston early Thursday to determine which animals they will bring to Chicago.

“We’re going to get into the shelter, and go through, and try and bring as many as we can, and hope that we can get them adopted, and then come back continually; because this is something that we’re going to have to continually do over the next six months,” Fasseas said.

The caravan of volunteers left Chicago late Thursday night, and they were expected to arrive in Houston by Friday night. They’ll load up the vans with rescued animals on Saturday and return to Chicago by Sunday afternoon.

Depending on the animals’ medical condition, it could take a few days or weeks before they are cleared to be adopted. Some of the animals might need foster homes in the meantime. Anyone interested in fostering one of the rescued dogs or cats should fill out an application.