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Shelters rescuing hurricane- impacted animals are heroes

Among the organizations stepping in to help the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are The American Red Cross, UNICEF and animal shelters around the country. Each of these organizations help in different ways and do impactful work and the generosity from animal shelters outside the south housing animals from shelters in Houston, Texas and Florida is just as important as the other recovery efforts. [caption id="attachment_19651" align="aligncenter" width="655"] People impacted by the hurricanes in Florida and Texas have been abandoning their pets.
Photo via Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland[/caption] Both before and after hurricanes hit Houston and Florida, shelter animals were sent out of the affected areas to other shelters that could take them. Southwest Airlines even donated a plane to fly a cabin of Houston’s homeless animals to shelters in San Diego, California. With these animals coming to new shelters, there is a need for more animals to be adopted so the shelters are not over-packed. One show that helped with this is “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” which showed shelter dogs rescued from Houston on live television and gave viewers information on how they can adopt. A celebrity that appeared on the show that day, Liev Schreiber, even took home two dogs and posted a picture of them on social media that night. Publicity such as this is important to help these dogs get homes and show the initiative local and broader shelters have taken. Information has been spread often recently on how to donate to recovery causes in both Texas and Florida, but the effort to adopt animals from the area has not been as widely known. The locality of shelters that have taken in dogs from Houston allows for people in New Jersey and the Seton Hall area to get involved, whether it be adopting or spreading awareness. The organization that brought the dogs on television, “Home for Good Dog Rescue,” is in Berkeley Heights, N.J., just a 23-minute drive from Seton Hall University. While it may be harder for students on campus to adopt one of the Houston dogs, since dogs are not allowed in campus dorms unless for disability purposes, one way Seton Hall can help the rescue shelter is by spreading the word about adoption. Seton Hall students may even coordinate to bring some of the dogs to the campus green for students to greet, possibly adopt and spread the word of their arrival. It’s a simple gesture that can make a big difference. If shelter animals were not sent out of the impacted areas of Houston and Florida and taken in elsewhere, many could have perished in the hurricane elements. The damage done would have been immeasurable. Just as donors all over the world have come together to support Houston and Florida recovery efforts, shelters from around the country have done the same to take in animals and save lives. The work that shelters such as “Home for Good Dog Rescue” are doing to help shelters in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is just as important as everything else that has been initiated to help the impacted areas, and without the shelters, hundreds of shelter animals’ lives could have been lost. Spreading the awareness of local shelters housing these dogs will only help spread the love and community that can come after a tragedy, and all who are involved are making a difference in the lives of animals and helping Houston and Florida recover from devastation. Elizabeth Swinton is a broadcasting and visual media major from Linden, N.J. She can be reached at or on Twitter @eswint22


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