Will Ravenstein

Wellington Daily News

The destructive power of Hurricane Harvey has displaced thousands of Texans due to the 50-plus inches of rain the slow moving storm dumped on the state.

It is not only people who were forced to abandon their homes. Many left with as much as they could gather including their pets. Some unfortunately had to leave their homes without their pets.

Currently there are hundreds of pets being gathered by shelters and humane societies to allow owners a chance to reunite with their four-legged family member.

This has caused a housing shortage for those animals.

Several groups out of Wichita teamed up to go to the Houston area to bring animals to Kansas. After several days of traveling and securing the animals, they returned to Kansas with 64 dogs.

None of the dogs that were transported north, were displaced animals. All had been in a shelter for the two week hold time that they have to allow for owners to be reunited.

Among those that were brought north, six dogs were brought to the Wellington Humane Society serving Sumner County temporary facility at Pearly Gaits Ranch, southeast of town.

This is the first time that Todd has helped with a situation of this magnitude, though she has volunteered to house animals during the wildfires that struck western Kansas over the years.

“We have offered to do it,” Todd said. “A couple times when there were fires out west I offered spots for dogs and horses. Nobody needed to come this far. This is the first time that it has happened, but all the shelters in Wichita kind of work together when they have a dog that someone else can place or need a foster. There are about four different rescue groups up there that I am connected with.”

Todd verified with the organizers that none of the dogs were displaced dogs prior to taking any in she said.

“I wanted to make sure of that before even getting involved, cause then the hurricane victims would never get a chance to get reunited with their dogs,” she said. “They had been there for over two weeks, nobody claimed them and they weren’t adopted out. They said if we can move these guys out, then they could move the displaced ones in. That gives owners two weeks to find their dog. In an emergency situation like this, you just have to find room where you can.”

Todd credits the work of Jana Reeder, Team Tatum, and Randi Carter, Beauties and Beast, for their work in getting the animals to Kansas.

This type of partnership, between local organization and other states, builds bonds that will last for them. If there is ever an emergency of that magnitude in Kansas.