Bright Beginnings

How to help those affected by Harvey, and now Irma

By September 6, 2017 No Comments
A dog rescued from floodwaters in Beaumont, Texas on Aug. 28. Credit: Johnathan Bachman/Reuters

A dog rescued from floodwaters in Beaumont, Texas on Aug. 28. Credit: Johnathan Bachman/Reuters.

Our hearts go out to the thousands of Texans whose homes have been destroyed or damaged in the floods of Hurricane Harvey. Compounding the suffering of these families, many of them have been separated from their pets. To make room in Texas shelters for these pets displaced by the storm, and keep them locally so it will be easier to return them to their families, animals housed in shelters pre-Harvey have been airlifted to shelters elsewhere around the country, including the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend.
BrightSide Animal Center was expecting to receive 10 to 15 of these Texas animals this week, but today was notified that won’t happen. BrightSide has informed the Humane Society of the United States that our shelter can accept animals displaced by Hurricane Irma, if needed. That storm is expected to make landfall in the U.S. this weekend.
While BrightSide normally serves Central Oregon, primarily Deschutes County, “we are glad to be able to take in these animals to do what we can to help,” said Patricia Bowling, shelter manager at BrightSide.

How you can help

The following local organizations with feet on the ground in Texas are providing direct aid to the people and animals who are victims of Harvey. These are organizations rated highly by Charity Navigator, which assesses the effectiveness of nonprofits:

In addition, a new web site,, launched Sept. 6, sponsored by, the Petco Foundation, and others. It enables pet owners in the path of Irma, and those affected by Harvey, to connect with people who would be able to foster a pet temporarily, for a period from one week to one month.

Jan Even
Author Jan Even

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