Rescue Organizations Rush to Remove Shelter Pets from Hurricane Laura's Path

Laura is set to make landfall in the Galveston area as a catastrophic category 4 hurricane.

Humans aren't the only creatures in Hurricane Laura's path.

As the strengthening storm gets closer to the Gulf Coast, rescue organizations across the South are working overtime to remove animals of all shapes and sizes from harm's way.

With Laura set to make landfall in the Galveston area as a catastrophic category 4 hurricane Wednesday night, the Houston SPCA has evacuated more than 200 shelter animals.

Animal Evacuation Hurricane Laura
Tyler Kaufman/AP Images for The HSUS

The organization reportedly transported 130 dogs, cats, and rabbits to the Austin Humane Society and 27 baby squirrels to the Austin Wildlife Rescue. They also transported 81 pets—including a three-legged mouse—from Galveston Island Humane Society to North Dallas.

At the same time, Tennessee animal lovers from the Nashville Humane Association were busy scooping up 20 dogs from a shelter in Gulfport, Mississippi.

"We're trying to get animals pre-storm out of those areas. So that the shelters in those areas that are the hardest hit have a place for animals that are displaced," Becca Morris, Director of Development and Community Outreach at Nashville Humane Association, told WKRN. "What we're doing is creating the much-needed space when there is a natural disaster. There's so many animals that are displaced during that time, so it allows those local shelters to help those animals that are in greater need."

On a national scale, The Humane Society of the United States is "transporting and coordinating the transport of more than 220 dogs and cats from animal shelters in Beaumont, Texas; Gulfport, Mississippi; and cities in Louisiana," according to a news release.

Twenty of those dogs made their way to North Carolina, where they were distributed between Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Asheville Humane Society, and the Humane Society of Charlotte.

"It's really important that we evacuate shelters ahead of these big storms because when the storm hits, the shelter needs to be able to respond to animals that have been displaced due to the storm," Brother Wolf Executive Director Leah Craig Fieser told WLOS. "And so by doing this we're helping these animals and helping the animals who will be affected by the storm."

Most of these pets will be available for adoption following a medical evaluation.

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