PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A number of dogs that were waiting to be adopted in Texas shelters are coming to Pittsburgh, giving those shelters room to take in animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
Thousands of pets — lost amid the flood waters and confusion of Hurricane Harvey — have been separated from their desperate owners in Texas.
It’ll take a herculean effort to get them back, and the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team (PAART) is stepping up.
“You can’t talk the talk and not walk the walk,” PAART co-founder Brad Childs said.
Ordinarily, the teams flies on missions to rescue dogs and other animals, but its Harvey response will be different.
They’re loading up a state-of-the-art trailer with supplies and embarking Friday night on 30-hour drive to an animal shelter in San Antonio, where they’ll pick up between 40 and 50 dogs to bring back to Pittsburgh for adoption.
Animal Friends will accept 27 of those dogs.
Dogs will also be sent to several other Pittsburgh-area shelters — including All But Forgotten, Angel Ride Animal Rescue, Beaver County Humane Society, Humane Animal Rescue, and Pet Search.
“What this allows us to do is deploy,” PAART co-founder Jonathan Plesset said. “We have these cages that are all built [into the trailer].”
What they’ll be doing is clearing out that shelter in San Antonio, which is at capacity with dogs that have been there since prior to the hurricane.
The idea is make room for dogs made homeless by the floods. Those dogs need to stay in Texas where they will hopefully be reunited with their owners.
“So we can go in and remove the dogs that have been waiting for forever homes and loving homes, bring them back up to the Pittsburgh shelters and let the Pittsburgh shelters do what they do best and find loving homes for them in this city,” Childs said.
The trailer will be returning Monday night for the region’s animal shelters to collect them. The team will be making return trips and, when airports become available, they’ll be flying to Texas as well.
“For us to be a part of that and for our team to be a part of that, as Pittsburghers to join in and make something bad into something good, this is why we exist,” Plesset said.
Donations to PAART can be made at NoDogLeftBehind.org.