Bay Area/ Oakland/ Community & Society
Published on September 08, 2017
Rescue & Search: Hurricane Harvey Pets Seeking Forever HomesNine-month-old pups Iris and Tulip. | Photo: Leslie Brinkley/ABC7

On Sunday night, a private plane carrying about 70 animals rescued from devastation in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey touched down at Oakland International Airport.

Seventeen cats and 54 dogs were airlifted to the Bay Area in a joint effort by the San Francisco SPCA, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue [Editor's note: this reporter is a volunteer at Muttville], The Milo Foundation and Mad Dog Rescue.

The organizations came together to support adoption service Austin Pets Alive, while a farm animal sanctuary donated the use of the aircraft.

Once they arrived, rescue workers dropped off donated leashes and collars, as well as flea and tick medications.

Hoodline content partner ABC7 reported that the pets were evacuated from flooded Texas shelters in Houston and Beaumont, while the SPCA also has dogs from Austin. Many were surrendered by their owners during or after the category 5 hurricane hammered the Houston area.

The dogs were transferred to California in order to make room at shelters for lost animals that may now have better chances to be reunited with their families.

The Milo Foundation took in 26 dogs, five of which have been diagnosed with heartworm, a serious disease caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs, as well as the associated blood vessels.

"Additionally, a number of the dogs rescued have ongoing medical issues that will require ongoing veterinary treatments," Milo Foundation writes. They are now hoping to raise additional funds for their care.

Muttville founder Sherri Franklin said on Sunday that she took every old dog that was there.

"The dogs are doing so great," Bunny Rosenberg, volunteer and foster care manager at Muttville said via email. "They were (understandably) pretty shut down when they arrived, and it's been incredible to see how much they have blossomed in a short amount of time."

Ralph, a shepherd mix, was diagnosed with a terminal illness, but he has already been able to secure a family responsible for his care. Rosenberg adds that all other dogs are already up for adoption as well.

"Two of them are curled up at my feet as I type this," Rosenberg wrote.

Mad Dog, another rescue, notes that their dogs from Texas are in foster care at the moment as they are still receiving their vaccines and are being observed in their temporary homes. "They will be ready for adoption post spay and neuter," the organization writes. 

In the meantime, the SPCA in Oakland has rescued 15 dogs and 25 cats from Florida as the state prepares for Hurricane Irma.