Feb 20, 2021
Over the previous decade, we at Austin Pets Alive! have served as a lifeline to pets in disaster, saving the lives of 1000’s of animals throughout floods, hurricanes, fires, and a wide range of different weather-related occasions. Final weekend, as we watched the climate reviews, our crew knew from expertise that Winter Storm Uri was going to be doubtlessly devastating for folks and animals. Earlier within the week, we proactively reached out to our rural shelter companions who function year-round with out warmth and out of doors kennels, to get their pets to security.
By Saturday, we had moved most of our APA! pets to foster houses and battened down the hatches at our shelter. We realized there have been no native efforts deliberate to assist folks and pets throughout the disaster, so we gathered collectively and instantly enacted an emergency plan. Our aim: To assist as many pets and folks as potential in Austin and all through Texas, whereas ensuring the pets in our personal facility had been protected and sound.
With 4 million folks out of energy for days, a multi-day energy outage at APA!, temperatures getting all the way down to traditionally low single digits, in addition to widespread lack of web and cellphone receptions, we’ve confronted numerous huge challenges. Regardless of these obstacles, we’ve remained operational and out there to assist pets and folks this complete time, largely on account of donors everywhere in the U.S. and the world and our native volunteers, foster caregivers, Good Samaritans, and devoted workers. We can not thanks sufficient for getting us by this previous week’s winter storms.
Listed here are a couple of of the methods Austin Pets Alive! helps animals and folks impacted by this unprecedented winter climate:
1. Earlier than the primary storm hit we issued an pressing plea to the Austin neighborhood, asking for blankets, crates, meals, area heaters, water, and mills. The outpouring of donations was nearly overwhelming and we acquired sufficient to produce everybody who has reached out for our assist. We had been capable of get many of those provides distributed earlier than the worst of the climate, which allowed out of doors pets to come back in from the chilly and ensured folks had loads of heat blankets for them and their animals.
2. We delivered meals and blankets to a few of Austin’s homeless encampments, the place folks and pets experiencing homelessness reside. We wished to verify pet house owners residing in tents would have loads of meals for his or her pets within the coming days.
3. We constructed and are managing a peer-to-peer help community. We’re facilitating connections between individuals who need assistance and those that are capable of provide help. This Fb group, known as ‘APA! [email protected] Emergency Response,’ has about 1,000 members after simply 4 days and has been instrumental in serving to canines, cats, and dozens of different pets, together with bunnies, birds, reptiles, and fish. By means of this mutual assist system, we helped get weak pets to heat houses, get injured animals to emergency veterinarians, discover misplaced pets protected shelter, and to get meals, provides, and transportation assist to folks at risk from the bitter chilly. This mannequin is an instance of community-based catastrophe response, impressed by our work main the Human Animal Assist Companies motion.
4. We’re offering all-day help and instant response to folks with emergency pet wants. As a result of the Metropolis animal shelter has been closed for the previous six days, we knew it was essential for us to pivot to assist the entire folks with pet wants. We’ve been in a position to reply to tons of of emails and have helped in each state of affairs, from bunnies who ran out of hay to cats who needed to get out of the chilly and canines who had been discovered by a Good Samaritan and wanted emergency foster placement.
5. We responded to early pleas from individuals who had been making an attempt to get assist to the rescued sea turtles of South Padre Island in addition to the animals housed at Primarily Primates sanctuary. Each organizations had been largely minimize off from energy and APA! was capable of assist ‘join the dots’ to get them entry to warmth sources and different assist.
6. We’re guaranteeing animals who’re vulnerable to dying in shelters all through Texas had been scheduled to get to security on transports and transfers. With roads principally impassable for days, transports had been halted earlier within the week, however having them scheduled and the animals ‘tagged,’ ensured adoptable pets had been stored alive. These pets have began arriving in Austin and others are being scheduled for transports to our accomplice organizations within the days forward.
How You Can Assist: Over the approaching days and weeks, we estimate there will probably be greater than 5,000 animals who will want our assist in Austin and past. We are going to want assets to not solely proceed to offer direct care companies to our neighborhood, but additionally facilitate these life-saving transports from overwhelmed rural shelters. Our crew is already fielding requests to drag animals from exhausting hit areas throughout the state and we proceed to obtain requests for assist with meals, bedding, water and provides as so many are displaced from their houses. We’re additionally evaluating the restore wants at our TLAC campus after pipes burst and infrastructure was broken by snow and ice. Your donations can have an unimaginable affect and assist us meet these challenges head on. Please go to www.austinpetsalive.org/donate to help this ongoing work.