As thousands of people are being displaced by rising waters in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, they are bringing small amounts of personal belongings to area shelters. But unlike in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, evacuees are not leaving their furry friends behind.
“It seems like everyone coming off a boat is carrying a dog or cat,” said Monica Schmidt, a manager for the Houston Humane Society.
Because many people stayed behind–and died–during Katrina, fearful that they wouldn’t be able to bring their animals to shelters, this time around, authorities are welcoming the pets with open arms.
At the George R. Brown Convention Center, where some 9,000 evacuees are currently housed, there is a separate area for people and their pets.
Not everyone has heeded the call to save pets. A woman posted on Twitter how her neighbor in Corpus Christi left behind a dog.
“Our commitment is for as long as it takes and as long as the nation needs our help,” Heber Lefgren, the department’s director, said in an interview.