Storm-tossed and homeless animals are on their way to safety in Portland this weekend. The deadly tornadoes that swept across Alabama last weekend killing 23 people also left hundreds of adoptable dogs and cats in overburdened shelters now struggling to recover from the massive natural disaster. While giving these homeless pets a second chance at adoption, the rescue operation also seeks to ease burdens on Alabama shelters, enabling them to devote staff and resources to those displaced by the recent storms.
Oregon rescuers and shelters are flying to Lee County, Alabama, to bring 150 of those dogs and cats to safety and a second chance in the Northwest. The Oregon Humane Society and Humane Society of the United States organized the flight, with help from a disaster-relief grant from Portland-based Fences For Fido. When the rescue plane touches down in Portland on Sunday afternoon, shelters from across the region will be on hand to take the pets to safety.
It was during another natural disaster – the Camp Fire in California last summer – when Fences For Fido established a disaster relief fund. An outpouring of donations allowed a crew of volunteers to travel to the area and build temporary enclosures for pets impacted by the massive fires. “With more animals displaced, this time in Alabama, we knew our donors would value the effort to get them to safety,” said Fences for Fido founder Kelly Peterson.
Oregon Humane Society will take in the largest share of the homeless Alabama pets. “When we get the call to help after a disaster, our goal is to always say ‘yes’” says Sharon Harmon, CEO, Oregon Humane Society. “Our team is working very hard to make sure we can accommodate this influx of pets while still helping our regular shelter partners.”
Some animals will also go to other Northwest rescues and shelters, including Seattle Humane Society, Humane Society for Southwest Washington, Newberg Animal Shelter, Lincoln County Animal Shelter, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, Hood River Adopt a Dog and Willamette Humane Society in Salem.
This transport of pets from Alabama puts participating Northwest shelters near their capacity and the public is encouraged to come adopt this weekend if they are considering adding a furry family member. “We have so many wonderful dogs and cats looking for homes right now,” added Harmon. “It’s a great time to adopt.”
Follow these links to the adoption pages for these area shelters.
Oregon Humane Society