Harvey and Pet Owners – Restoring My Faith in Humanity

by Mark Angelides

The devastating events through Houston and other parts of Texas have shown us not only the destructive power of hurricanes, but also, surprisingly, what we as humans really can be. In a world too often jaded by idiocy and recrimination, it is often a shock to realize how moved we can be by the plight of others.
Pictures are coming out showing folk carrying their pets through the waters; some over the shoulders and some in their arms, and each one is more moving than the last.


During Hurricane Katrina, it is estimated that over a quarter of a million dogs and cats were displaced or died, according to the ASPCA. In Texas, there are massive efforts underway to try and rescue stranded, lost or abandoned animals, but it may not be enough.
The Red Cross is making it known that all pets are welcome to come to their on-site facilities where they will be keep in compounds or cages. Other welfare centers are stating that owners are welcome to keep their pets with them.
As reported by Reuters: “They’re getting so many calls for animal rescue and response,” said Katie Jarl, Texas state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s people who stayed behind with their animals, people who left them and now want someone to check on them, and reports of animals chained in backyards.”
That people would choose to stay at home with their pets rather than leaving them behind really does speak volumes about the capacity for feeling humans have. It is sometimes all too easy to disregard human plight when it is not in front of our eyes; it takes that added element to reconnect with the empathy that we are all capable of.
There are rescue efforts underway to move animals who live in shelters, and animals who have just come wandering in looking for human company. There are 30 brave zoo workers who have opted to stay with the 6,000 animals in their charge. This is the capacity for care that we as humans possess. Sometimes it’s easy to forget.

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