DALLAS – Standing head and shoulders above a pack of dogs is Goliath, a friendly Irish Wolfhound who made the trek with his owners from Houston.
He’s one of the 15 dogs and counting taking refuge from the storm at the Pet Resort Dallas near Love Field.
The phone calls for help have been nonstop, said Taylor Smith, general manager.
“It’s hard, it’s really hard,” Taylor said, describing hearing the panic in people’s voices. “It’s been eating at me, like, there’s something I can do.”
And there was. Taylor went to her bosses and now the luxury doggie daycare and boarding facility, is opening their doors for dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey – for free.
“Just like you would grab your children, you would grab your children,” said Joni Markham, general manager. “Yes, it’s very important that we take care of human life first, and I understand that. But there aren’t a lot of plans in place to take care of the pets.”
Pet Resort Dallas can only take family dogs, especially the ones that are up-to-date with their vaccines. They are unable to take any strays.
“We’re here for you. And this is what we’re gonna do,” Smith said. “Bring your baby here, we’re not going to charge you for boarding.”
In 2006, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS), a bi-partisan initiative in the United States House of Representatives, requires states like Texas seeking FEMA assistance to accommodate pets and service animals in their plans for evacuating residents facing disasters.
The old reunion parking garage is now a SPCA animal shelter – a special home for pets of evacuees, staying at the Dallas convention center.
“We’re excited to help. These guys will be with us until their families are ready to get them back,” said ASPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies. “We’re designed to be close-enough, so that their family can come visit them.”
In addition to the SPCA shelter, two AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailers were deployed Tuesday to the convention centers in Dallas and Fort Worth to help pets affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The trailers can hold at least 65 pets and are equipped with microchips and scanners, as well as bowls, collars, and leashes.
Back at Pet Resort Dallas, displaced dogs can stay free for one week, making for one relieved dog lover.
“I just saw everybody else doing something good for these people,” said Smith. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
Note: If you’re looking to help, here’s a list of things you can do for Harvey evacuees.
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