SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Animal shelters in Houston are full. They are the ones on the front lines taking in evacuated pets impacted by Hurricane Harvey. They also have pets that were there originally ready for adoption.
It’s a disaster leaving pets all throughout Houston helpless. Everyone in the area is doing what they can from rescuing dogs in coolers to airlifting them to safety.
"It’s not that the assistance isn’t available it’s getting it there to the city,” said Sean Hawkins, Executive Director for the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.
It's a challenge to simply get around within the city. All helping hands are on deck nationwide and in Santa Maria.
"Woods Humane Society, the Animal Shelter Assistance Program and Santa Barbara Animal Services collectively we’ve agreed to take in 200 dogs and cats,” said Hawkins.
This hits close to home for Hawkins. He lived in Houston for 32 years. He said the shelters are at full capacity and need to make room to take in evacuated dogs.
"The animals we are agreeing to take in are already in the Houston shelter system,” said Hawkins.
Those dogs he said are homeless and ready for adoption. The shelters in Houston will be keeping dogs that will reunite with their owners.
"These animals can’t help themselves,” said Margaret Anne Andrade, a 3rd-grade teacher at Battles Elementary. Her students in Santa Maria are chipping in.
"We are going to raise money for them so we can help the animals that are lost and hurt,” said student Natalie Astorga.
Students are bringing in their spare change. The money will then go directly to the Houston Humane Society.
"We want to help them and [for them to] not be in pain a lot and have them healthy and have them to have a family,” said student Audryna Hilario.
It’s a lesson Andrade hopes will stay with her students forever.
"Teaching children to help others in need and we don’t even see these people or animals,” she said.
Students will be fundraising for about the next three weeks.
If you want to help out the humane society said they do need volunteers, you can reach them at 805-349-3435.
The pets all of the organizations take in will eventually be available for adoption.