Tips for Ranchers & Animal Owners in Hurricane Harvey’s Aftermath

by Jaymie Feldmann | Sep 06, 2017
As Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc along our Gulf Coast, Hired Hand wants our customers and everyone effected to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers. With the worst of the storm seemingly over, the catastrophic and life-threatening flooding is not done yet. We’ve cultivated some helpful tips and links from across the internet to help those who may have animals in need, wish to donate to animal efforts, etc.

Floods can impact animal health as well as human health. These resources encourage you to make plans for your livestock, horses, and pets in the event you will need to or have evacuated your home or farm. 

To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up an animal emergency response hotline (713-861-3010) and is accepting donations on its website.

Circle Double C
Courtesy of: Circle Double C Ranch

Natural Disaster Before & After Check list for your Livestock:

Natural Disaster Before & After Check list for your Pets:

​Seeking Shelter for your Animals?

"If you are seeking a large or small animal shelter/holding facility in your area or in your evacuation area, call 2-1-1 or contact the emergency management department in the area you are seeking shelter. You can also contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county agent."  

"Local and national organizations have already taken steps to evacuate animals. Shelters in the badly affected Gulf Coast areas had already evacuated animals by Friday evening, when Harvey escalated to a Category 4 hurricane. The Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act was passed in 2006 after Katrina to ensure that animals wouldn't be forgotten when emergency preparations were made.  

Be aware, animal behavior may change due to high stress environment.

If there is time, move or evacuate livestock and horses to higher ground. If there is no other alternative, keep gates or buildings open so animals can escape high water. Place your contact number and the name and number of your veterinarian on the building.

If you hear of anyone willing to house animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey and the storms please encourage them to call the hotline through the Deer Breeders Corp. and Animal Response Operation Coordination Center (AROCC). This hotline is not just for deer breeders. It's taking calls related to animals who have died, those looking to volunteer or donate to help animals and more. 512-719-0799.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is providing emergency assistance in caring for animals – livestock and domesticated – in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. APHIS is working to aid producers and positioning staff in key areas in Texas and Louisiana where flooding may cause further damage. In addition, APHIS is helping to meet the emergency needs of pets and their owners, as inspectors are coordinating closely with zoos, breeders, and other licensed facilities in the region to ensure the safety of animals in their care." 
Courtesy of: Vanessa Emmett Kainer

Wondering What’s Happened to All of the Current Shelter Animals? 

In an effort to avoid some of the mistakes made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago, animal safety advocates have joined forces to clear shelters in the Houston area and beyond for animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The national effort being undertaken by the Humane Society of the United States, Wings of Rescue, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,, the Best Friends Animal Society and other organizations involves flying homeless dogs and cats who already populated Texas shelters to facilities in other parts of the country. Those animals will go up for adoption in their new area while Texas shelters make room for pets who might wind up lost or abandoned in the wake of the hurricane and floods. Source:  

Wanting to Volunteer to aid in Animal Shelter & Rescue? 

If you are an animal welfare professional and want to volunteer your skills to relief efforts you can submit this online form. Volunteer information will be shared directly with Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas.  The SPCA of Texas has also put out a call for foster homes to help care for the animals already in shelters and those coming from the Gulf Coast. The organization along with local groups like the Houston Humane Society are also accepting financial donations and in-kind donations, including cat litter,
litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards. 

Austin Pets Alive is seeking families that can foster cats and large dogs. In addition to cash donations, the organization can also use in-kind donations like large plastic or metal bins with lids. Space for some items is limited so check with the organization first before you gather supplies.  "Currently, our numbers have increased to 330 animals (169 dogs, 122 cats, and 40 more confirmed pets en route.)," Austin Pets Alive wrote to ABC News. "Within the next 24 hours,those numbers are expected to increase by 50 to 110 animals, depending on how navigable some roads are. Our current projection is that we will have evacuated around 1,000 animals to Austin Pets Alive! by the end of the week."  

The Animal Defense League of Texas is providing shelter and care for displaced pets and are desperately seeking fosters, supplies, and financial assistance in their efforts. 

Stuck in flood

Wish to Donate Hay & Feed?

The Texas Department of Agriculture is currently working with the Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas A&M AgriLife for donations of animal hay and feed. If you would like to donate hay, please call the TDA Hay Hotline and we will provide your information to your local AgriLife county agent to determine the closest location to you where the greatest need may be met.  Patrick Dudley, Coordinator for Agriculture Commodity Boards and Producer Relations (512) 921-2969  Jessica Escobar (512) 803-7847  Hay may be donated and sent to the counties affected by Hurricane Harvey. Because that area is under fire ant quarantine hay and forage may be sent into the affected counties without restrictions.  

The State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund Many of our fellow Texans are in need of a helping hand. Texas Agriculture Farmers, Rancher, producers and agribusiness owners are rebuilding and working towards picking up the pieces after all of these natural disasters. As natural disasters continue to impact Texas farmers and ranchers, the need for donations continues. The STAR Fund (State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund) was created solely with monetary donations from private individuals and companies. STAR Fund money may be used to assist farmers and ranchers in rebuilding fences, restoring operations and paying for other agricultural disaster relief.

Longhorn breeder Randy Alvarez
Courtesy of: Randy Alvarez

To make a donation via check please send it to the following address:  
Fund : Texas Department of Agriculture * 1700 North Congress Avenue * Austin, Texas 78701 

To Donate by PayPal   Under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and Texas Agriculture Code, TDA is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions, gifts, grants and donations.    

Texas Law Changes Effecting Property Damage Claims Take Effect 9/1/17

New Texas law means Harvey victims have good reason to file claims by Friday. Important changes affecting property damage claims under Texas Insurance Law will go into effect on Friday, September 1, 2017. To take advantage of current Texas Insurance Law protecting property owners with regard to damage claims resulting from Hurricane Harvey, policyholders should send a written message or email directly to their insurance company that (1) specifically references their claim; AND (2) is dated BEFORE September 1, 2017. Telephone messages will not suffice to give written notice. Make sure to keep a hard copy of what is sent    

Avoid Being Scammed:

The information in this Blog is not endorsed by or sanctioned by Hired Hand. We are in no way affiliated with any of the above resources or links. “Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters,” the F.T.C. website says. “Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.” 

Leave a comment

Connect With Us

Facebook Logo, Link to Hired Hand Facebook page Twitter Logo, Link to Twitter Page Instagram Logo,  Link to Instagram Page Pinterest Logo, Link to Pinterest Page RSS Logo