In many disasters, there are both human and animal victims. After the fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas, people and organizations came from near and far to help those who were affected, whether they walked on two legs or four.
When the explosion occurred at the fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas, folks lost family and friends, homes, everything. But humans were not the only victims of that terrible incident. Many animals died, and others were left homeless.
In anticipation of the influx of pets to local shelters, the SPCA of Texas in Dallas offered their support by taking seventy animals that were being held for adoption at the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco. The Dallas group will house, care for, and adopt out the pets. That made room at the Waco facility so they would be able to handle the dogs, cats and other critters rescued from the disaster area, making it possible for the shelter to accept about ninety animals left homeless by the disaster.
Some of the pets recovered from the vicinity of the explosion have been reclaimed. You can imagine the delight and relief of owners who come in hoping to find their furry friend and realize that someone rescued their pet. Occasionally it has been a bittersweet reunion for people who were displaced by the disaster and are unable to take their animals. And there are those who leave the shelter empty-handed because their pets have not yet been found.
Some good news is that volunteers continue to search for animals still in need of rescue. In addition, all rescued pets are not in a shelter. Some have been taken in by good-hearted people who are helping them look for the animals’ owners, partly through the use of social media.
For anyone who has found a pet around West, Texas, and those who are looking for their lost pets in that area, there are a couple of Facebook pages. One is the “West TX Fertilizer Plant Disaster Lost & Found Pets” page, with about five thousand “likes”. Another is the “West, Texas Explosion Animals Lost & Found” group with thirteen hundred members on Facebook. Just search for West Texas Animals to find either one.
For those who want to help, you’ll find many opportunities on either page. Folks have contributed everything from pet food to leashes, pet beds, cat litter – and of course, money.
Working together to help the animals is one very real way we can all make a difference, when we’re speaking of pets.