Volunteer animal transports prepare to head to Texas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volunteer animal transports prepare to head to Texas

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A group of animal rescue volunteers are preparing to head to Texas to help animals affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Devastation has been rocking parts of Texas to its core, displacing thousands of people and their pets. An overwhelming number of animals are having to be rescued, and they're filling up the shelters.

"It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to know that people want to save their animals, and they can't. It's even more heartbreaking to see people leave them behind on purpose. That's where we step up," Missi Broders of Muscatine, said.

Broders is part of a group effort to gather supplies before volunteer animal transports head south to Texas to help. One of the volunteers, Melissa McCourt, said they'll be bringing back a number of dogs and cats.

"There's a lot of dogs and cats and animals misplaced, and we're trying to clear the shelters down there. The animals that we're bringing back are already animals in the shelters," McCourt said. 

McCourt said, in order to bring in displaced animals, the current shelter animals need to be relocated. That's what they plan to do.

"Those dogs need a place to live while people are in the shelters," she said.

McCourt, along with Wendy Pippert Walton and others, will make the trek to Texas, Wednesday morning. They've been told they can't get near Houston, so they're working with shelters in the western portion of the state.

They won't be making the trip empty-handed.  Walton posted on Facebook Monday night about the trip and, ever since, donations have been piling in of cages, food, collars, leashes, etc.

"I've charged my phone three times since last night. I have been everywhere in this town. The town has been awesome. I mean everybody is pitching in. We're getting crates coming in, food coming in," Broders said.

They'll be towing a large six-stall horse trailer to bring the pets back with them.  The animals will then be placed with foster families to be adopted.

"Even if we only get 100, and some cats and a goat or whatever they bring back, that's 100 dogs that didn't die," Broders said.

They say donations to local animal shelters are still important even after they've gone, saying many of the animals won't be coming back with anything.

"They have no bowls, no leashes, no collars, no beds, no food. There's nothing accessible at this point," Broders said. "Even a bowl at this point saves a dog's life. Anything old - crates, kennels. They don't have to be brand new. They're transporting so many animals back, it has to be done safely."

McCourt said a big way people can help shelters is by becoming foster families or adopting.

"If you adopt, we can get more fosters in that it clears up more room for other dogs. That's a big concern, fosters and adoptions," McCourt said.

Many of the animals will be placed in foster homes around the Quad Cities. Information about the animals brought back can be found later here.

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