More than 30 dogs that survived Hurricane Harvey headed for Toronto
Local rescue organization is bringing the canines here from Houston in the hopes of adopting them out
More than 30 dogs from Houston that were being housed in Texas rescue organizations during Hurricane Harvey are on their way to Toronto thanks to a local organization.
The dogs, which were already in the shelter system there, are being brought to Toronto to provide relief to the rescue organizations in Houston. The hope is that they will be eventually adopted into homes here.
Nicole Simone, a director of Redemption Paws, an organization that goes to areas affected by natural disasters to help rescue groups find homes for dogs in safer areas, said four vans transporting the dogs are expected to arrive on Monday at the Ontario SPCA headquarters in Newmarket, Ont.
Nine volunteers accompanied the dogs, and two volunteers in Toronto helped to co-ordinate the trip.
"We had the resources available. It's important that we share our resources if we have them, so long as we are not overlooking dogs here in Canada, and we're not," Simone said.
The vans left on Thursday, went to Houston, unloaded humanitarian aid and pet supplies in a designated parking lot on Saturday, and boarded between 35 to 40 dogs that went through Hurricane Harvey.
"We were not on the streets rescuing dogs or taking dogs that could potentially be missing dogs. We worked with local rescues that had some dogs that went through Hurricane Harvey and some dogs that had been in rescue for up to two to three years," Simone said Sunday.
"We took a lot of unadoptable dogs. And we had some locals surrender their dogs who unfortunately lost their homes in the floods. We are not stealing missing dogs."
Simone said the dogs come from a range of breeds and the organization aimed to take dogs that had a lower chance of finding homes in Houston. Those include canines with special needs or that are older. About 30 per cent of the dogs have special needs.
Group bringing 'unadoptable' dogs
"We have everything from Great Danes, Dalmatians to chihuahuas, mixed-breed dogs, blue heelers. It's an eclectic amount of dogs. A lot of Labs," she said.
"We really aimed to take the most unadoptable dogs. Just because Houston has such a huge dog overpopulation, a lot of the special needs dogs get left behind."
One dog had both of its eyes removed, another is deaf and one has a neurological disorder.
Scene in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Houston?src=hash">#Houston</a> - making sure the dogs are loaded safely and soundly 👍🏻 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HarveyDogsTO?src=hash">#HarveyDogsTO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rescuedogs?src=hash">#rescuedogs</a> <a href="https://t.co/DXoaA8QnbL">pic.twitter.com/DXoaA8QnbL</a>—@RedemptionDogs
The organization also brought down humanitarian aid for local residents, including blankets for the homeless, diapers, socks, cleaning products, towels, and pet supplies, including leashes, collars, and crates.
Simone said Redemption Paws worked with Hot Mess Pooches, a rescue organization in Houston that connected the group to other rescue organizations in the area and local residents who could not keep their canines.
People interested in adopting the dogs should check the Facebook page of Redemption Dogs for an online application form.