MILWAUKEE -- While many people will be out and about this Labor Day weekend, a local restaurant group is hoping they'll take time to support relief efforts for stranded animals in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The sun-splashed patio at Milwaukee’s DiModa Pizza is a far cry from the flooding and devastation in Houston.
“It’s hard when you’re 1,500 miles away," said Drew Deuster of Wild Planet Hospitality Group, which owns DiModa.
“You think about if you were in that situation, what would you do?" added Nick Coglianese, Wisconsin Area Manager for the national distillery Heaven Hill Brands. "And you have a very sympathetic outpouring. You want to do what you can to help.”
Wild Planet Hospitality Group is joining forces with Key to Happiness, a Texas-based animal rescue with a chapter in Wisconsin, to put on "Howl for Houston."
Through Labor Day, six of Wild Planet’s bars and restaurants will serve as drop-off spots for donations. Key to Happiness will then bring truckloads of dog food, leashes, toys, treats and more down to Texas.
“They’re actually going to be taking dogs that are currently in shelters and bringing them back up," Deuster said of Key to Happiness Rescue's efforts. "There’s many displaced animals down there that they’re trying to make room in the shelters for right now.”
Additionally, one dollar from every Deep Eddy Vodka cocktail ordered through the weekend will be donated to buy flea and tick medication for the animals. Deep Eddy is based in Austin, Texas.
“We want to make sure that we utilize what’s in an environment of fun and celebratory," Coglianese says. "To do something good for people that don’t have that opportunity right now.”
Closing the distance between Milwaukee and Houston, one donation at a time.