Humane societies in Milwaukee area on standby, ready to help 4-legged Harvey victims

MILWAUKEE -- Humane societies in the Milwaukee area are on standby, prepared to help four-legged victims of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Shelters like the Wisconsin Humane Society likely won't see dogs and cats displaced from the Houston area, but they could get a call as early as Tuesday to take animals from crowded shelters in Texas' neighboring states.

It was a quiet Monday at WHS after a busy weekend filled with adoptions -- and devastating images coming out of SE Texas.

Wisconsin Humane Society

Angela Speed

"It's just heartbreaking to see all of the devastation in Texas," Angela Speed, VP of communications for WHS said.

Speed said the shelter has the capacity and is on standby to help out.

"What typically happens is that animals who are actually displaced by the flood itself in Texas will remain as close to that area as possible," Speed said.

As a result of the influx of animals due to Harvey, the surrenders and long-term stays at various shelters are being shipped to nearby states to free up space.

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey

"Of course, if we are able to help we will," Speed said.

Animals from places like Georgia or Louisiana could end up coming to Milwaukee to find new homes -- and this isn't the first time WHS has jumped into action during a disaster. About two dozen dogs were taken in after 2015 floods in Oklahoma, and during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The shelters became a haven for those who fled New Orleans with their pets.

"The families actually brought their animals to Milwaukee and they were housed at State Fair, but they didn't have proper housing or food or resources to keep their animals there safely, so we helped them out there," Speed said.

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey

Speed said the lesson for pet owners is to prepare before a storm hits.

"You want to create a plan that includes your animal," Speed said.

WHS officials have received a ton of calls from people in the Milwaukee area who want to help animals impacted by Harvey. Speed said the best thing to do right now is donate money to shelters and organizations in Houston working to help dogs and cats during this crisis:

SPCA.org

HoustonSPCA.org

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