After a 36 hour drive from Texas, more than two dozen dogs rescued from Houston due to Hurricane Harvey have arrived in Ontario where they will eventually be adopted.
Thirty-nine dogs, including some with disabilities, arrived at the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) in Stouffville, Ont. Monday morning after being rescued from hurricane-ravaged Houston where Harvey touched down last month.
Six volunteers and three vans filled with humanitarian aid and dog supplies made the drive to Houston last week.
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“When we got to that parking lot all the dogs were waiting there and people were just like begging us to take their dogs,” Curtis Cluett of Redemption Paws told Global News.
“It was really really hard.”
Redemption Paws, which organized the rescue, said there were an estimated one million homeless dogs in Houston before Hurricane Harvey hit.
The dogs that were rescued and brought to Canada were already in shelters or were surrendered by families whose homes were destroyed in the deadly storm.
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“There’s a lot of tears from the people surrendering their dogs, the rescues that have had these dogs for two or three years, there’s a lot of sad goodbyes but they know they’re going to a good place,” said Nicole Simone, a director at Redemption Paws.
Simone said the dogs will be in quarantine for 10 to 14 days and ince they are settled and healthy they will be ready for adoption.
“Our hearts go out to the people in Houston,” said Tanya Firmage, chief of Humane Programs & Community Outreach with the OSPCA.
“But it’s so exciting for us to have been able to be part of such a huge rescue of animals.”
The rescue mission was paid for through donations but Redemption Paws hopes the generosity will continue to help the animals on their new journey in Canada.
“Back here it’s just starting for them now,” Cluett said. “They need fosters, they need to be adopted. Especially the special needs dogs.”