In the Aftermath – How to Help After Harvey

Hurricane Harvey may be no more but the devastation left in his wake will be here for some time. While active rescues and triage are still ongoing in some places, others are starting to move into the longer-term care needs phase of operations. To ensure that the companion animals who made it safely out of flood waters and high winds stay not just alive, but given the opportunity to heal and achieve and maintain a good quality of life, your support will be needed in the months to come.

The organizations listed below are those we know are doing the heavy lifting here in Central Texas and the Austin area. If you notice that we are missing someone, please tell us!



The volume of donated items pouring in after Harvey has been incredible…so much so that many organizations have run out of space to store them with the exception of very specific supply requests. The best way to stay on top of an organization’s most current needs is to follow them on social media. Wish list items are constantly evolving and the most urgent needs of the moment change.

When in doubt, donate cash! This is true not only in times of crisis but year round. People enjoy making donations of specific items because it feels a bit more warm and fuzzy but making an unrestricted monetary donation allows organizations to be more flexible, use funds in the most effective way, and to pay for the single most valuable and critical resource they have – staff. While we think leadership salaries in all fields, non-profits often least of all, can climb unethically high, the distaste the general public sometimes has for funding the very positions that make non-profit work possible at all holds us back and in the case of shelter/rescue work, hurts the animals we want to help. Anytime you donate, make sure it’s to an organization you trust. And then, trust them.

Find Your Org on Social Media & Donate!

*These are Harvey help provider specific and not an exhaustive list of our many amazing area shelters/rescues. 



Texas shelters are full at the best of times and foster homes, particularly for medium-large breed dogs, are always a hot commodity. With the swath of storm impacted areas being so huge and containing an enormous city like Houston, the influx of dogs to communities that already have their own very large companion animal populations means foster homes have become even more critical. If you can open your home to a foster, you will join the ranks of this storm’s true heroes and give an animal who has been through significant trauma a safe place to heal and recover that offers more peace than a shelter kennel.

Confused because the shelter you signed-up to foster for asked you to take a local long-stay instead of an evacuee? Do it! Please be that dog’s hero. Before the storm hit, shelters everywhere had long-stay dogs they’d tried for months to get to the relief of a foster home. You can be that dog’s long overdue opportunity while freeing up more space to save lives and allow pets being held publicly a better chance to reunite with their displaced families.

Sign-Up to Foster!



Surviving is the first step. A life worth living comes next. For displaced companion animals, it’s up to us to ensure they have the quality care they deserve. As with fostering, this is true not just for evacuees but for the animals who populated our shelters before they arrived. All of them need you to put your compassion and skill set to use on their behalf. Many area shelters and rescues have a mix of short and long-term volunteer needs. Like with donation needs, following them on social media is a great way to stay current, especially for short-term volunteer opportunities that may not be listed on the main website.

Sign-Up to Volunteer!

Want to start immediately with no muss, no fuss? You can show up to walk dogs as a member of the public at Austin Animal Center and Lockhart Animal Shelter!



It is critically important to know where to refer people to find their lost best friends. If an animal was lost in a specific area, the very first places to check are both regular animal shelters and emergency shelters in that area. But because animals are being moved all over the state – and country!- due to the storm, knowing how to access central databases is important.

Find Lost Animal Resources!

And of course, adopt! If you or someone you know is looking for a new companion animal, go the shelter/rescue route and help save a life yourself while clearing the way for an organization to save the next one.


*The thoughts and opinions in each post on this blog are those solely of the attributed author and do not necessarily extend to all program collaborators or to Ethics in Animal Care itself.* 

By Ethics in Animal Care

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