Update: Friday, September 8, 2017
As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, with expected landfall this weekend, accompanied by widespread devastation to the state, thousands of residents have evacuated the area, as thousands more are currently en route to safer ground. Simultaneously, local and national rescue organizations are hard at work evacuating animals from shelters throughout the region to get them to safety before this monstrous hurricane makes its deadly landfall.
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is working with our rescue partners to provide safe transport for Florida’s shelter evacuees, just as we have been working over the past week to help Texas’s animal refugees find their way to safe havens in the Northeast. Collaborating with groups orchestrating rescue runs from Texas and Florida is a major endeavor for us, but we gladly accept the challenge and look forward to assisting the dedicated and courageous organizations and individuals who share our mission to save lives.
Please continue to use disaster@AnimalAllianceNYC.org for all transport and information requests, whether for Hurricane Irma or Harvey.
Even before images began to roll in of pet owners wading through chest-deep water with their beloved pets tucked under their arms seeking safety from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the surrounding region, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals assessed its resources and began to strategize a plan to assist in the tremendous unfolding efforts to save lives in the storm’s aftermath.
While geographically far removed from the torrential rains and rising floodwaters in the Gulf region, many New Yorkers — and particularly New York City area animal shelters and rescue groups — immediately felt the need to move into action to assist our neighbors to the south. Some Alliance partner organizations, including large, national organizations such as the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, the Humane Society of the United States, and others that are equipped to respond to large scale national disasters have teams currently on the ground in Texas. Others have made room in their shelters and foster networks to accommodate shelter animals being transported out of the hurricane region to make space for the many displaced pets who will need accommodation in the area.
The Alliance — the umbrella organization for animal rescue in New York City, whose mission is to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in New York City shelters — is not a shelter, and its mission does not encompass national disaster relief. As a small nonprofit with a team of nine employees, we do not have the staffing, resources, or funds required to respond to national disasters.“Our hearts are heavy as we watch the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in the South”, said Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “While we don’t have the resources or manpower to put our boots on the ground, we can provide anyone helping in the Hurricane Harvey relief effort free animal transport via our Wheels of Hope transport program.”
The Alliance’s Wheels of Hope transport fleet, consisting of five dedicated vehicles designed specifically for animal transport, is standing ready to assist our shelter partners in transporting animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey to receiving shelters, foster homes, and other destinations within a seven-hour radius of New York City. The fleet, which moves animals out of Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) nearly 365 days per year to partner rescue groups and shelters, is prepared to transport Texas shelter pets on part of their journey to the Northeast.
Shelters and rescue groups needing transportation within a seven-hour radius of New York City can count on the Alliance to help with animal transport as many of them step up to house animals from Texas. To request transport of Harvey animals, please email us at disaster@AnimalAllianceNYC.org, and we will provide you with a special transport request form.
Ways New Yorkers Can Help Hurricane Harvey Animal Rescue EffortsDonate Funds
Donating money is the best way to make an effective, immediate difference during a disaster, since it allows organizations to buy exactly the supplies they need, when they need them. Make online donations to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society of the United States, or regional organizations in the hurricane-affected area, including:
Houston Humane Society
Humane Society of Southeast Texas
Wildlife Center of Texas
Organizations working in Texas are in need of supplies to rescue and care for animals in the disaster zone. Please visit these web sites for information on how to send supply donations to these organizations: