The first major hurricane to hit the United States since Wilma in 2005 has left a swath of destruction in its wake — and Washington State animal organizations are stepping up to help. 

Washington State rescuers are coming together to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey (photo credit: PAWS)

Since it first made landfall at Rockport, Texas on August 25, Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding, dumping more than 40 inches of rain in some areas. As of this writing, there are 39 known human deaths.

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Washington State animal organizations, including the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Seattle Humane, stepped up to help the animal victims of Hurricane Harvey.

PAWS is an Emergency Placement Partner for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and responded to the emergency situation in Texas in conjunction with the HSUS and Wings of Rescue. Dogs from Texas shelters were flown to Boeing Field on Wednesday. The animals were already in shelters when Harvey hit and are being transferred to Washington State shelters to ensure that animals displaced from the flooding can be safely care for until they can be reunited with their families.

A rescue dog arrives from Texas (photo credit: Seattle Humane)

According to Laura Follis, PAWS’ Director of Communications, PAWS received 15 large dogs on the flight that arrived at Boeing Field yesterday. “They are currently at our Companion Animal Shelter in Lynnwood and will be medical and behavior assessed in the next several days,” she said. “We anticipate they will be ready for adoption by Friday.”

According to Follis, additional rescue transfers are scheduled. “We also have a transfer of cats arriving on Friday to Paine field,” she said.

A rescue dog peers through his caging (photo credit: PAWS)

“With the natural disaster in Houston, Seattle Humane is proud to be part of a national effort to help with moving shelter animals out of the area,” stated Seattle Humane CEO David Loewe. “This will provide Houston and surrounding cities with needed space for the short term housing of stray pets, and the immensely important task of reunification of pets with their families.”

PAWS is looking for additional foster families; to fill out an application, please click here. To donate to Seattle Humane’s Disaster Relief Fund, please click here.

Photo credit: Seattle Humane

Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.